Best Armies at ATC 2019!

posted in: ATC, Tournament Results | 0

The dust is settling after another hard fought ATC! The American Team Championship is a massive tournament where teams of 5 players square off. Through a unique pairing system players match up and try to crush their opponents. While this format creates its own meta we thought we’d do a little breakdown of how different factions did across the event. Oh and we had a great time playing there ourselves on teams “Dirty Mike and the Boyz” and “Beat Labs Gaming”. Don’t forget to check out last year’s Best Armies of ATC here. You can also check out the final standings in PDF here. Now without further delay, are you ready for the Best Armies at ATC 2019!

Best Armies of ATC 2019:

FactionAvg FinalAvg ContributionCount
Khorne 194901
Asuryani 153.8327.7218
Imperium 152.4118.3066
Orks 146.3811.4321
Chaos Space Marines 145.7720.8513
Aeldari 144.5115.3139
T'au Empire 143.624.7337
Thousand Sons 142-91
Genestealer Cult 141.16-8.4425
Chaos 140.813.9452
Forces of the Hive Mind 133.71-37
Adeptus Custodes 132.75-78
Tyranids 131.25-17.58
Imperial Knights 1315.7512
Drukhari 130.62-6.2313
Astra Militarum 129.95-11.7919
Space Wolves 127.14-33.867
Blood Angels 123-30.52
Necrons 119.63-32.2619
Cult Mechanicus 119.19-28.516
Adepta Sororitas 116.6712.676
Death Guard 115-32.673
Nurgle 113.67-4.333
Adeptus Astartes113.06-13.8116
Harlequins 112.5-33.754
Inquisition 109-481
Dark Angels 101-661
Grey Knights 62-66.333
Adeptus Titanticus 39-1691

*A quick note: We chose to sort the factions by battlepoints although the BCP App sorted players by team contribution. We’ve include both for your convenience.

Top Tier:


Whoo would you look at that! Khorne kicking ass and taking skulls on top! This is mostly because of the outstanding performance of our friend Horton who was the sole Khorne player messing with averages. Congrats to him! Before we go any further we also want to give a shout out to Kevin who won best Imperium on one of our teams and Jack who won best Chaos Space Marines on our other team. Way to go guys!


Did you know space pixies in planes is good? Because they’re pretty good. Anyone who was at ATC this year knows there were lots of flyer lists around. Whether they included Dark Eldar for Vecting stratagems and a few more planes or not Eldar are strong right now. Falling on the sword as my team’s Guard player trying to give up as few points as possible I played several of these lists. The best in my humble opinion had several Wave Serpents to prevent boots on the ground and Nightspinners or Fire Prisms for fire support that cant be easily tied down. Space Elves are tough.


Ah the Imperium. More players than any other single faction and still right up near the top. It’s hard to talk about this “faction” generally but again, like Eldar, we knew Imperial Soup lists were good. One thing to mention is that the best Imperial player (our own Kevin) used Calladius tanks from Custodes but also a Bastion full of Imperial Fists Centurions to spit out mortal wounds on Vehicles. I don’t know if fortifications will become the new thing but I always love it when something different wins!


Orks have been in a strange place after their codex dropped. We’ve been hearing rumors that this is Hordehammer in 8th edition but haven’t seen that fully develop. With Castellans and then flyers the Loota build seemed pretty universal. After the FAQ Mek Guns screened by a green tide seemed to be the build. In an event where Orks can pick their match up it looks like they did very well. I love these goofy green fungus gorillas in the lore and on the tabletop so hopefully we’ll be seeing more of them.

Chaos Space Marines

Disco. Lords. If you haven’t looked into what a Disco Lord is or had to play one yet then great for you. They almost always come in a host of 3 and are flawless. See what I did there? They move fast, generate lots of extra attacks especially against Imperium players, are cheap, and are relatively durable with a 5++ invuln and a 2+ save. Oh also backing them up with Abaddon, Obliterators, and Deredeos seems pretty good according to our player Jack who won best Chaos Space Marines. We figured the better build included Plaguebearers but we’ll see where the lists move when it comes time for NOVA.

Tau Empire

The Greater Good is looking pretty good. Riptides have been a Tau staple for a while now and they’re still good. Some lists mix in Broadsides and Fire Warriors but I’ve seen several Tau players just keep it simple. Three Riptides, a commander, and a metric crap ton of drones. If you don’t have the guns or can’t get there in time its a hard list to deal with. Especially in a team tournament, gun lines can pick their pairing and often their table. Tau do what they do and the addition of fly and the lack of the vehicle keyword really help out a lot of their models.

Middle Tier: Thousand Sons – Blood Angels

Thousand Sons/Chaos

We’re going to start moving a little faster now in the Middle Tier. There were LOTS of Chaos players. While Chaos Soup isn’t quit what Imperium Soup appears to be its still very powerful. With the addition of Chaos Knights I think we’ll see Chaos start to creep back up to where the Imperium is. Plaguebearers, Disco Lords, and Knights will be a tough combo to crack. I also want to point out that the addition of the Slaanesh Mirror to any melee army is great. She’s got psychic powers, she stops people from falling back, she can take the silly “don’t do nothing stupid” gem, and she moves incredibly fast. Don’t be caught unawares!

Genestealer Cults/Hivemind/Tyranids

The follows of the Four Armed Emperor and the Hivemind had been lagging earlier this edition. I’m glad to see they’re creeping back into the meta. Genestealer cult is a very complicated army to play with and against. If they can get wins often they’ll simply overrun their opponents but if something goes wrong they can fall apart very quickly. I was lucky enough to play Matt who won best GSC. He was a great guy and opponent and was able to dance around my army like no other Hive Commander I’ve ever seen. Even playing fast to finish a Guard vs GSC game he never lost his cool even when he had me rattled and my lines broken. Great game Matt and I’ll take that as my first and last loss to these dirty mutants.

Adeptus Custodes/Imperial Knights/Astra Militarum/Space Wolves/Blood Angels

Yeah, so basically all the good Imperial factions on their own. The Custodes had a shiny new set of beta rules on display. Grav Tanks and a flyer that is essentially a flying knight are very tough to counter. Imperial Knight lists have always been a thing at ATC as a way to badger opponents into certain matchups and they look like they’ve done alright. I can’t wait to see how they compare to their heretical cousins coming out this week. Space Wolves and Blood Angels suffer from all the normal Space Marine issues but we’re seeing a slight uptick in performance recently. Maybe new Primarus reinforcements or an updated Codex will help?

I want to take a second to talk about the Guard. Personally I’ve decided to try and play mono-faction Imperial Guard this ITC season. I love the faction and it kills me to see they performed below the overall average and had a negative team contribution. I myself had a losing record although my job on the team was to not lose but so badly. All of our wins were 4-1’s partly because of that. I hope other Guard players were serving the same function or this might be a very hard year playing mono-guard! Look out for updates on how that’s working out for me.


Last year we saw lots of Haemonculus Covens lists all over the meta. Unfortunately for these sadistic space elves it looks like they’re more often being taken for their flyers than as a whole army. There were still a significant number of Dark Eldar players though so its something to keep an eye on.

Back of the Pack


All of a sudden we’ve started seeing a new Necron build. Three flying croissants, three Doomsday Arcs, and Tomblades is nothing to sneer at. Unfortunately it looks like their cost, fragility, and the impact -1 or more has on Tesla shots is still impacting them. I think there’s still a place for them but -33 to team contribution is rough.

Cult Mechanicus/Soritas/Space Marines/Inquisition/Dark Angels/Grey Knights

The other Imperials. I’m a little surprised AdMech didn’t do so well given all the hype around the battle servitor lists. There’s a lot of plasma and a lot of damage that can be done with those units but it looks like they didn’t hold up this event. Sisters of Battle had some good representation but badly need an update to their White Dwarf rules. We talked a bit earlier about Space Marine problems but hopefully they’ll see a resurgence with a new codex. Also someone played Inquisition? Props to you, you crazy bastard. Finally Dark Angels and Grey Knights. It says something about where you are as a faction when only one player plays Dark Angels. Grey Knights technically did worse but still had 3 players probably just because they’re so damn cool we don’t care what the rules are. Again, maybe new units and new models will help. Until then I hope GW decides to do something with underperforming chapters because I like more than one color of Space Marines on the table!


The space clowns are still around. While we see their haywire bikes still being taken, they suffer from the same problem as the Dark Eldar. They’re just better as allies usually. I do love seeing a full army of Harlequins on the table though as Harlequin players almost always have amazingly painted armies.

Death Guard/Nurgle

The other Chaos. While Nurgle has lots of units to offer a combined Chaos list they just don’t have enough oompf to quite play on their own right now. Although I’ll be honest I still hate fighting Mortarion and his terminator guard backed up by all sorts of plague tanks!

Final Thoughts

This year’s ATC was great as always although they are definitely working out some of the kinks and improving every year. Eldar flyers are still dangerous and soup lists are able to combine the best of their respective keywords. Mono factions lists other than Eldar struggled a bit but we’re seeing a pretty good spread of factions getting played. Love that. Everyone should have a playstyle or at least let me play things other than one build over and over again. I think ATC shows 40k is in a good place and is just going to keep getting wider and better with more releases that don’t seem to have quite so much power creep as 7th edition.

On a personal note my team came in 22nd place out of about 80. Thanks to all those guys I played and everyone on my team for putting up with me. Can’t wait to see everyone again next year!


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Don’t do paperwork, play with your dice!