Tier List

This was a popular discussion last beta, so here we go again. The two biggest changes are that crits are more relevant due to more effective armor, and the reduction in Brace's accuracy bonus has buffed carriers. I'll edit this post often as we figure out the 1v1 meta.

  • Top: BC Carrier Nids
  • High: LC Drukhari Carriers, BB Drukhari, x4 crit Protector Tau
  • Mid: Stealth LC Dauntlesses with AP ammo (IN, but many races can do something similar), Lance Chaos, Orks, Craftworld,
  • Low: Merchant Tau, GC IN, Admech, SM
  • Bottom: Necrons
  • Dumpster: Corsairs

Right now as I see it, the meta is a rock paper scissors at the top. Carriers beat x4 crit (Mont'ka warfare with escort scans and Lock On) Protector Tau because Tau can't shoot the carriers. Drukhari battleships beat carriers because carriers can't get fighters to land on them (although this matchup may not favor Drukhari by much, if nids can sneak in close and land fighters they can chain more fighters and eventually assault boats). x4 crit Protectors beat Drukhari because they have tons of escorts to scan and can crit decks.

Five Infestation Devourer carriers is the best fleet in the game. But Drukhari battleships or stealthed IN LCs (and maybe other stealth fleets) can beat it, although it depends on player skill. Double custodian Protector Tau has potential too.

The two high tier fleets beat almost everything else, with a few exceptions. x4 crit Protectors may lose to lance Chaos. Drukhari battleships lose to x4 crit Protectors. Stealth LCs are just a wacky version of Drukhari battleships, the strategy is exactly the same (split up and cap, then recombine to kill enemy if he splits up to contest). So maybe we should lump them in with Drukhari in High tier if any particular ones turn out to be as good.

Necrons and Corsairs are complete garbage. Necrons don't do damage any more now that starpulse was (rightfully) nerfed, and lose to everything except maybe corsairs. Corsairs get absolutely textbook hard countered by any of the top three fleets. But at least they can beat Space Marines and Necrons as long as they make 0 mistakes AND don't get hit by a lucky permanent engine crit.

Space Marines benefited from the armor improvement a lot, but they have no way of catching Craftworld or outbrawling Orks / Nids.

Note that reload does not actually reduce macro cooldowns right now. Drukhari will be SIGNIFICANTLY stronger once that is fixed, and they are already one of the strongest in the game running lock-on.

last edited by Jamodon

Hmm i agree with some of this however the bigger problem is that people don't know how to play the factions properly yet as they have not had much chance. SM I would probably say is more mid tear with a boarding build,
necrons= people use the puls and jump to aggressively the puls destroys all torps and attack craft making it very hard to nuke the big ships and then can jump and regen hp but people just jump on top of a fleet, puls and wonder by their carin gets nuked by mass torps whereas if u play it right its pretty much immune to them.
Corsairs are pretty strong but require alot of micro to make them work much like game 1.

I would put Lance/Carrier chaos and orks as high, they're not necessarily as overpowering as the things in top (though orks can come close at times imo) but they are certainly a tier above the other things in mid. Also weirdly enough the best overall IN build I have found so far is triple emp with AP ammo and assassin, I'll need to play a few more games to really tell but it's been going really well so far.

last edited by BrohanBroski

--Side Note--

I will edit the exact stats of ships later on when I have time


From my limited experience playing as SM it can be incredibly effective in 2v2 as a more supportive fleet. If the other player on your team is using an offensive fleet you can use the boarding action from cruisers to take key ships out of the fight.

If one of the enemy admirals brings 1 or 2 large ships you can basically wipe out his whole fleet in 1-2 boarding actions.

In a 1v1 it still isn't that bad with the right ship composition but you can still get bad match ups like any other faction.

--The Ships--

The SM ships are fairly mobile and have decent armour and weapons however the faction is not built around burst damage or ships that can stay in the fight for an incredibly long time. The ships are designed around boarding actions. When engaging enemy ships they have the speed to close the gap for boarding and decent enough defence to survive heavy damage long enough to get the job done. While in ship to ship combat you can do steady damage to the enemy ships but won't be the best at this role.

Battle Barges: Not good in 2v2 due to such a massive point cost although could work well as a flagship in 1v1. Using this in 2v2 trying to do a boarding heavy build its still ineffective due to only being able to basically only field a fleet of 1-3 ships.

Cruisers: The best ship class for this faction and what makes them great in 2v2. You can bring up to 3 of these for incredibly powerful boarding actions. Using honour the chapter and regular boarding you can turn enemy ships into hulks in seconds. The speed of these ships is decent and I find that using brace for impact these ships have suprisingly good survival even in large fights.

Light Cruisers: These ships are centered around a single build in 2v2 which is stealth and mobility. Due to the light cruisers and cruisers point difference being very low the only reason you would use light cruisers is to do stealth boarding and hit and run attacks. The advantage these ships have compared to cruisers however is the hangar bays these ships. They are fast but do not last nearly as long as cruisers in a fight. In 1v1 you can use these ships to keep stealthed light carriers around to try and counter enemy fighter attacks.

Escorts: Average scouting and stealth ships like most other factions, they get the job done fine.


Space Marines great in 2v2 for boarding. More challenging in 1v1

with the current built hull damage takes way to long to take out ships without special weapons, so you only care about boarding damage first and to a lesser degree about morale damage and weapon crit. chance second. if you are not a boarding monster faction, you try to take out the flagships deck against factions with morale and if you succeed, you sent it routing with repeated rams and other sources of fast morale damage. if the flagship is routed, you do the same for the remaining line ships. against factions with morale immunity, it is a race about who hulks whom quickest.

nids are the undisputed top of the food chain. you don't want hiveships, you want infestation devourers. a list of them has more boarding attack per charge, more troops, more shields, more hangars and more crit-slots per fleet plus access to tentacles, more escorts and only slightly less hull per fleet. you have to spend one upgrade for the synapse upgrade, so you cannot have 10sec temp crit repair and the faster shield regeneration as the only real drawback. the tentacles are key to increase your effective range. their pull has roughly 7.500 range and can be chained to pull stuff into your boarding range. together with the movement burst you have an effective killzone of roughly 9.500k against eldar and 10.500-11.500k against all other fleets (you move your base speed plus 4000 distance in two seconds, eldar can burst for their base speed plus 2000 distance in the same time). the void lurker skill gives your flagship additional 9000 move burst in 2,5 seconds. on top of that, they have the psychic scream, which is extremely good to break morale.

there is no way kin-crewed DA BB can do anything against that. their attack range is in the nid killzone. the only way to beat that list is to be lucky in out-capping them with silent running eldar (lucky in not running into any hidden ships and you need a map without three clustered VP). anything silent running without the eldar burst and instant-turn is probably too easy to catch.

I will maybe write some stuff about other fleets, for example I think there is no place for lances atm and I think you undersell SM.

edit: corrected the tentacle range. somebody should test, if you can reliably burst away from it as eldar before the tentacle can connect.

last edited by Fosil

Why are Corsairs so low? Eldar are fine to me.

Is this from a 1v1 perspective or 2v2? Some races are kinda poop until you unlock some of their later perks. I'm having a better time on Necrons lately than I was at the start.

I agree, on the current state it is far easier and faster to damage morals/crew than kill the ship. With macros/lances, killing even a cruiser with 1600HP/400 shield will take a few minutes when crew can be gone in a few seconds of mass boarding/assault boats. Also with mutiny unable to be stopped half of the time trigger the moral is key.

Yeah, some of the races don't have 2 strong skills and 2 strong upgrades to start, and suck until high admiral levels. Like Orks with Traktors, or Necrons with Mass Recall.

Corsairs in my experience just get outshot by everything except pure short range brawling builds with no anti-kiting upgrades. Which is what, SM barges? And some ill-advised Cruiser builds from various factions. I think that's literally it, along with Necrons if you don't have Mass Recall or use it right. Most fleets can just charge at Corsairs and rotate anything that loses shields to pulsars to the back so it doesn't take hull damage. Corsairs have to run instead of doing damage, until a random engine crit finally puts them out of their misery.

Corsairs also auto-lose to other eldar, because corsairs are the ones that have to run away (craftworld out-ram, drukhari outboard and can afford to sacrifice their shadowfields to sit still to do damage.

last edited by Jamodon

hot take: SM are the strongest (meta-) human faction at the moment. fast, morale immunity, high troop counts, better boarding, free lightning strike damage like skill on an extra cd, access to culexus assassin and boarding torpedos makes them extremely good in taking out troops / forcing mutinies. six strike cruisers have 36 homing boarding torpedos per charge with 2-3 troop damage each, 48-72 troop damage per boarding action with 6 x 60% chance for 2 additional troop damage and 24-36 troop damage from the SM extra boarding skill again with 6x60% chance for 2 additional troop damage as an alpha boarding strike.

last edited by Fosil

@Fosil bold, but I see what you're saying with no morale when it's mattering a lot for other factions, and benefiting from tougher torpedoes. I'll move them to the human tier. Have you done some SM vs IN/admech matches with good players though? I feel like GC IN might just be able to outdamage / outtank them.

A large part of ship point costs is to be reviewed, I mean Chaos retaliator costing less than IN Exorcist when he have more dmg and range on his macros?
DE BB as same price or less than IN BB?
Voidstalker most expensive ship of the game and almost 2 times the price of DE lowest price BB?

I am currently maining Necron in order to see how "bad" they are and so far I'm just not seeing it.

  1. Yes they are slow, but that jump allows a ton of flexibility and the CD on it isn't that long once you engage.
  2. It seems like fleet comp plays a big part in success in the encounters and the BCs are must-haves in my experience so far
  3. Playing both 1v1 and 2v2 I am about 50/50 on wins with the Necrons and that's mostly because I am learning tactics for each faction I encounter
  4. I lose to Tyranid almost every time but that's because Tyranid are top tier currently and even though they don't do much damage they remove crew and take the win

Essentially please lay out why you think Necrons aren't that great so that while I'm playing them I can see if I agree on those points or if I manage to find tactics/fleets to counter the issues others are having. Currently I don't think Necrons are bad by any stretch, just people don't know how to utilize them yet.

@alandauron not saying your bad but its possible you running into people who are just trying to unlock scrim skills as they set the system up horribly.

@imptastic said in Tier List:

@alandauron not saying your bad but its possible you running into people who are just trying to unlock scrim skills as they set the system up horribly.

Lol, not saying I'm good just that so far I haven't encountered a defining moment that shows Necrons as bad.

@alandauron haha ya i ment that as a dont take this comment to reflect on how well you play its just more i know that currently mp is flooded with players that arnt really playing as much as just going through the motions to unlock scrim skills.

@Alandauron My take on necrons matchup vs

  • Nids: horrifying boarding death for necrons
  • BB drukhari or Stealth LC with AP ammo: they just do more damage than necrons. And if necrons alpha strike with starpulse, they'll get hammered by torpedoes.
  • x4 crit Protectors: necrons will be a systemless husk before you get to 50% HP.
  • lance chaos: necrons can't even get to boarding range against 22.5k lance chaos without using mass recall. When they do, chaos just boosts away and resumes shredding them with lances
  • Orks: horrifying ram, torpedo, AND boarding death for necrons
  • Craftworld: maybe this is winnable? They should be able to outcap necrons and stay out of 9k except when theyjump though.
  • Admech: Brohan and I killed a cairn from 100 to 0 using novas in 2v2 before it could engage. If necrons can get into melee somewhat intact maybe they can win it though.
  • SM: they can hulk necrons, and again necrons have to hold starpulse for torps.
  • IN: if they are high enough level to have AP ammo, they'll probably outbrawl you.
  • Merchant Tau: this might actually be a decent matchup for necrons, lots of escorts to lightning arc to.
  • Corsairs: if necrons wait for them to boost, then mass recall, then jump again when they boost again, all while focusing engines, they can maybe win this. If they screw it up or don't have mass recall, corsairs can just keep a safe distance and pulsar them to death.

What exactly are you running on necrons? If you're a strong player it may just be you outplaying people rather than necrons being usable at a high level.

@alandauron To adress you points:

  1. Any faction with a gauge is more flexible as they can use it in bursts, turn, and keep it off cooldown. Those without a traditional gauge like eldar can still do crazy turns with their 180 manuever. Necrons cannot.
  2. This is true for all factions, except others like nids and Druhkari instead of going from trash to less trash go from powerful to way to powerful
  3. This is likely because no one knows what they are doing yet. It will change.
  4. Other factions can at least run from the nids. With ID you can jump but they will catch you.

To summarize most of what is wrong with the Necrons, I will copy paste an old post from last beta. It is slightly incorrect in that lances are moderately less effective now (but still trash necrons) and the analysis of the cruiser has a different points cost and LS number (points went up and LS # was nerfed) but it is still correct proportionally to what it was (the ships are roughly the same points distance away) so I will post it anyways as all else is the same. Hopefully it helps.

"-Variety: There is none. Besides the lack of new weapons systems that necron ships canonically have (such as solar pulses or throwing chunks of dead stars at people) they only got one new ship they didn't have for a total of 8 ships, the smallest roster of all. The druhkari on the other hand, who were no where near as hyped or demanded, got SEVENTEEN new ships, more than twice the number of ships the necrons have total. They also still lack a carrier, reducing them from participating in many strategies and counters that are necessary, like dealing with the hide escorts and cap points strategy via bombers.

-No shields: This was obviously going to happen, but it lacks the trade offs necrons got on table top. In addition to the high armor, they had a armor save (ie chance for no damage) on all their ships, one that was buffed by brace. For some reason, they have neither brace nor the save. Additionally, they were passively immune to celestial phenomena, as opposed to being required to grab an upgrade for that same ability. There was literally no reason to change this, and no one will ever pick that ability over any other due to not only its relative uselessness, but the fact you can't see what map you are going into, and thus weather it will be needed. Additionally, no shields mean necrons are critted exceptionally easily, and their armor isn't worth much with all the ap in the game. Even the IN can surpass it due to the necrons loss of brace for no explicable reason. Additionally, shields regenerate much faster than necrons do, in some cases more than thirteen times as fast, and the shield regen upgrade is much better than the necron regen upgrade. Other factions can have permanent shields as well, or health upgrades, while the necrons cannot. They are exceptionally weak to skills because of this, and get annihilated by things like nova spam. They are supposed to be tanky by their racial descriptor in game, but right now they are glass with no cannon, and one of the easiest factions to kill. They don’t even get an armor advantage over a lot of ships, and when imperials use brace they have less than them.

-Phase out: necron ships just kind of disappear when they disengage. Not only is it unloreful to have a windup, but easily defeated due to no shields making them very vulnerable to boarding and to damage in general, especially considering that you wouldn't use it in good conditions.

-Repair in general: Beyond how slow regen is, it has a cap. Shields do not, and give back way more health. Additionally, repair of crits is very slow and they have no repair order like everyone else, with crippling results.

-Pathing: Something is off with their movement. Perhaps it is because they are so wide but they seem to always ram when near each other.

-Maneuverability: Its terrible. They are slow, have no all ahead full or turn to compensate, and only move not only has a very long cooldown and doesn’t go as far as AAF, but cannot be used to turn the ship, leading to said ship being likely out of position when used. Additionally, due to only once per 90sec rules, once used if the enemy is say a nova cannon fleet that ship is dead as it cannot dodge in time. This is not including the fact the cooldown and lack of turn means any other fleet can just get behind them and kite them forever, or run away and ord spam with no real counter. They also cannot really ram without AAF, which while not a goal of the crons makes me very sad. I really wanted to see a lore/TT accurate Necron fleet, as then I could ram a fleeing elder ship from halfway across the map. Not very viable, but hilarious.

-Upgrades: These should be upgrades, not necessary patches to holes like the repair one or useless like the regen one.

-Anti ord: They have starpulse and fighters, but the fighter lose to every other factions in the game despite being able to slag hive cities with weaker ground based weapons and starpulse has a longer cooldown that most ordinance, and are defeated by staggered ordinance anyways. They lack the ever changing stance that buffs turrets as well, making like even harder for them, which is exacerbated by a lack of carriers as mentioned in the variety section.

-Stealth: Most Necron ships don’t have it, despite it being their save on TT (there was a hard to hit roll that brace would turn into a normal armor save). They are also bad at getting around it, as their escort lack shields and thus instantly explode on enemy contact, and in a battle where the enemy cycles out to restealth will be long dead.

-Stats on general/DPS: being a fleet explicitly expected to be outnumbered, they have several disadvantages. They lose fleet variety, many tactics, skill count, troop total, and feel each loss more keenly than the enemy, and thus need more points to compensate. This means they should be at least equal to the enemy point for point stat wise, if not a little better to compensate for the above. Instead we have escorts that lose to ork ones in max range shoot outs, light cruisers that explode when looked at, cruisers that cost more than a battleship, a dumpster fire for a BC, and a expensive battleship that I have witnessed lose 1v1 to, among other things, demiurge battleships, tau battleships, ork battleships, hive ships, and to top it off two druhkari cruisers. To summarize the message with a short analysis of the sythe cruiser I did a while ago:
“They just aren't very good for their points right now. Lets take the baseline cruiser, the scythe harvester, and compare it to say, the apocalypse class battleship. Why that battleship? Because it is actually 14 points cheaper than the necron cruiser. So if this cruiser is more expensive than an imperial battleship than it must be at least equivalent right? Well...
Lets compare, I'll even throw in the common retribution class for extra evidence (7pts more than the cruiser):
Apocalypse Scythe Retribution
HP: 2.4k 1.6K 2.4K
Shields: 800 0 800
Total HP: 3.2k 1.6k 3.2k
Morale: 100 150 100
Turrets: 18 10 18
Troops: 18 14 18
Speed: 120 240 160
Armor: 83/67 83 83/67
Rotation: 4 10 4
Raw DPS(not counting abilities): 16.8(4.5k)/15.6(9k) 12 28.6 (4.5l)/22.2(9k)
So in short the ships in the Scythe Harvesters price range have higher raw DPS, much more health, shields (which regen faster than the harvester does I think) more turrets and more troops. The harvester has better speed and rotation (because CR v BB) but loses overall in those departments when comparing ID vs Imperial maneuver gauge. It also has flat better morale due to the necron +50 morale a racial trait. You'll notice I did not mention armor. Why? Because the armor of 83/67 gets a boost from a certain stance that is always on. This boost brings it from 83/67 to 108/92 (if I remember how armor works correctly anyways), which is vastly better than any necron ship. So the only thing the Harvester has is that it is (theoretically) faster, and starpulse, which is getting nerfed. The two mentioned ships also have abilities, one of which is a nova cannon (200-400 damage, aoe, -100 morale, faster cooldown than pulse I think) and torpedoes (8x 90D, 45 reload) but I left those out because one is a skill shot so DPS is variable (it will always hit a jump on cooldown necron ship for 720D though) The other is disabled if you get to close, so it can be avoided. Also to take into consideration is that necron can always be critted because no shields, while all other races do not suffer from this. On stances, they have the same reload as the imperials, a splitshot not useful in a direct comparison (or most of the time) and a nearly useless healing ability. To extrapolate on the uselessness of the healing ability: despite using starpulse, today I had a scythe harvester lose 1v1 to a emperor. Despite killing all of its ord with starpulse. Oh, and there was a dauntless there too but he got starpulsed. I might have done my math wrong somewhere but this really doesn't seem to be equivalent point for point (aka balanced). Maybe I'm missing something?”
Keep in mind this ignored that fact that the apoc had mainly AP damage, which would hard counter the scythe.

So we have ships that don’t have quantity, don’t have variety, and certainly don’t have quality. They spent the beta leaning on starpulse for what else could they do? But that is going away now. If they are to be viable, hell a main story faction for singleplayer, they need to at least be able to match the other main factions. They cannot right now. Someone should probably get on that."

last edited by Nemesor Xanxas

Thanks for all the responses, I have had a chance to play some more on higher level tiers with Necrons and it is as said, Necrons can't hold up to other factions. Now I am no pro by any means and that's why me winning 50/50 was a talking point, never been a great PvPer and not the best at micro.

I have come very close to wins against most factions but even when close it could be that the opponent is simply as bad at the game as I am lol. If I were able to win 50/50 at higher tiers I would say they are probably fine but I got some wins, ranked up, then got put immediately back in my place.

I still don't think they need much to put them on par with other factions but I won't pretend to know enough about the other factions to make suggestions on how to "properly" put Necrons into contention. Thanks again for all the posts so I could take a look at the Necron shortcomings.

EDIT: I will say that in the campaign the Necron are just incredible when compared to the Imperial so maybe that's where the devs are looking. Might be time to separate PvP stats from PvE stats.

last edited by Alandauron

necrons have low troops per point cost while boarding is extremly strong, they have low crit slots per point costs and no shields while weapon crits ignore armor, they have dismal range for their mobility, no carriers while mass-carriers are extremly good. they cannot brace to avoid morale damage from ramming, while also being unable to rally mutinous ships. having no stance to double crit rates is another weakness.

I honestly think Corsairs deserve their own special place below Necrons.
They are particularly awful, necrons are only as disastrous as they are now since they get hit hardest of all by what tops the meta right now.
I guarantee you'll see some necron success once the Nid Carrier builds get their inevitable nerf.

last edited by CALiGeR_Reborn