Fighting off a galactic plague isn’t simple, it turns out. You need a fast-travelling spaceship capable of warding off attackers, manage the egos of a difficult crew, and approach each battle with at least a pinch of tactical understanding. I’ve covered the generalities in our Daemonhunters beginners guide, and how fighting off the futuristic minions of Nurgle is one of the best 40K experiences in recent memory, but now it’s time to dive a little deeper.
There are eight Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters classes: four starters and four specialised variations of each. Here’s what you need to know about them.
These are the base classes you’ll have until about halfway through the campaign. Just because they’re less specialised by no means makes them ‘weaker’ than the Advanced classes, so don’t abandon them as soon as the shiny new toys come along later.
The armour-clad tanks of Daemonhunters – equally capable of leading your frontlines or hanging back and psychically sending armour and AP to other units. With their ability to wear Terminator Armour, Justicars can carry both a melee weapon and two-handed Psycannon into battle (not possible for Knights wearing lighter Power Armour).
Transfers all the Justicar’s Armour to a Knight anywhere on the battlefield for one turn. Combined with Aegis Shield upgrades that increase the Justicar’s Armour, this lets you temporarily turn any Knight on the battlefield into an absorbent tank.
Taunt enemies into only attacking the Justicar for one turn. Upgraded, this becomes an AoE ability, letting you pull several enemies at once, and its Warp Charge turns enemies Crazed, making them attack each other at random.
Charge 10 tiles to deal 1 DMG, +1 Stun, and Knockback to all enemies in your path. This doesn’t deal loads of damage, but can be upgraded to inflict extra Stun buildup and Hobbled effects.
The sneaky rogues of the Grey Knights, Interceptors thrive with their mobility and ability to teleport around the battlefield. They dart quickly between enemies and deal high melee damage (since they can’t be parried).
Mark several enemies in a 10-range area, then teleport between them to land a powerful strike on each.
Swap places with any Knight within teleporting range. This range can be extended from 10 to 15 with the Range Upgrade in the Teleport Discipline.
Gives you an extra 50 percent chance of getting your AP back after using a teleport-based ability. The probability increases with higher Focus on your Interceptor, so with the right loadout you could end up with a 100 percent chance to replenish your AP after a teleport move or attack.
At a glance, these guys are classic healers, but you can also build them out into damage-over-time dealers thanks to their Bleed-inducing abilities. They can learn to use the more robust Terminator Armor, too, which is handy if you want them at the frontlines healing your Knights while skewering enemies.
Heal a single adjacent Knight. Upgrade this ability as quickly as possible to maximise the amount of healing you do. The foundation to a good healer build.
Fully upgraded, this AoE psychic attack afflicts Bleed (2 DMG/turn for two turns) on enemies in a substantial area at up to 15 range. Supplement it with the Grim Surgeon ability, which extends the duration of all Bleed effects by three turns. Very handy for setting in damage-over-time on heavily armoured enemies and bosses.
Unlock a Skull that goes into a Wargear slot and lets you bestow Biomancies to your allies at any range, instead of having to be right next to them. Biomancies are separate Apothecary abilities, each with their own skill tree, which grant temporary buffs to your fellow Knights.
Foregoing the future-magical abilities of the Warp in favour of heavy weaponry, Purgators have access to the finest hardware in the Grey Knights’ arsenal including Psycannons, Psilencers, and Incinerators. Of these weapons, Incinerators (flamethrowers, essentially) struggle a bit because it can be tough closing down that distance, then trying to burn clusters of enemies while not frying your brothers-in-arms.
An AoE psychic blast that blinds enemies for two turns. With the Warp Charge upgrade, it also guarantees that you’ll purge all affected enemies of their mutations.
The Purgator is a class of functionality rather than flashiness, and an extra Wargear slot stacks nicely with upgrades to your grenade capacity, letting this guy carry up to six into battle.
Everything within the Psilencer Discipline is worth grabbing if you want your Purgator to be a sneaky sniper build. You can upgrade the Psilencer with vast range, and Support Fire means that when an enemy gets shot within that range, the Purgator will automatically shoot that enemy, too. Top off your Psilencer build with Ignore Cover, which ignores damage penalties for partially covered enemies.
These classes start appearing later in your campaign and are extremely specialised, which can really spice things up just as you thought you were getting into a groove with the base classes.
Only capable of wearing Terminator Armor, Librarians are well-read in the ways of the Warp, specialising in psychic abilities. You’ll want to beef up their Willpower because all their best abilities are Warp-based.
Vortex of Doom
A psychic blast that, once upgraded, can deal up to eight damage per enemy and disable the ranged attacks of mechanical enemies for two turns. Essentially an extremely powerful psychic grenade.
Gate of Infinity
Teleport your entire squad to any visible location on the map. This ability also exists as a Stratagem that you can get early in the game, but the Librarian has it in his toolbelt. Extremely handy when you’re awaiting extraction or want to blitz a Bloomspawn or boss.
Like the Justicar, the Librarian can send his armour to any unit on the battlefield for one turn. Crucial for front-line support.
Even tankier than Justicars, Paladins are great in a melee because they can provide defensive buffs in an area around them as well as pushing the enemy back. They’re the only Knight capable of using a Storm Shield, making them extremely proficient at holding ground.
If you have a Storm Shield equipped, this support ability creates up to an Area 5 (with upgrades) zone within which enemies automatically get attacked while allies +4 or – with the Warp Charge upgrade – +7 Armour bonuses. Add Only in Death to automatically revive a critically wounded ally once per battle within the defensive zone.
Fury of the Ancients
Damage and knock back all enemies in a 45-degree arc at up to 8 range once upgraded. With Warp Charge, this can do up to 12 damage to all affected enemies, making it one of the most powerful abilities in the game.
Send 2 WP to a Knight anywhere on the battlefield. With the Warp Charge upgrade, you can transfer all of the Paladin’s Willpower to an ally.
These guys may sound like healers, but are in fact the most powerful pure support class in the game, capable of using Litanies to buff Knights at any range with boosts to Willpower, Critical Hit Damage and Armour, among other things. You can only have one Litany active at a time, however.
The Chaplain can be a pretty solid tank, though lacks high damage output so will rely on those around him to mete out imperial justice.
Litany of Hate
This Litany grants all Knights an extra 1AP when one of them executes an enemy (on top of the 1AP they already all get for that one execution). Upgrade this ability to use it more than once per turn. An absolute game-changer in the right hands.
Invocation of Focus
Grants each Knight a 15 percent (up to 50 percent once upgraded) chance to regain 1WP when using Warp Charge, Psybolt or Force Strike modifiers. Given that these abilities are some of the most-used in the game, that’s potentially a lot of Willpower you’ll be regaining.
Intonement For Guidance
All Knights get a +35% Critical Hit chance (up to 55% once upgraded) with ranged weapons. This leads to massive damage increases across the board, particularly with upgraded high-level weapons with existing crit bonuses.
A pretty much direct upgrade to the Purgator, the Purifier hones in on incineration. They can use the Psycannon, Psilencer, and Incinerator, though their stronger Ranged abilities focus on the latter. As mentioned earlier, the Incinerator can do a lot of damage but is limited by its short range and inaccuracy, so lead with your Purifier and burn up enemies before other Knights enter the fray.
Flames of Purity
The default attack of a Purifier wielding an Incinerator, adding +1 DMG (or more, when upgraded) to your weapon damage and an additional +1 DMG for every 2 ammo (or 1 ammo, when upgraded) spent. You’ll want to get all the possible upgrades in the Flames of Purity Discipline to maximise its damage output, as well as bonuses like the ability to Blind and Knockback enemies.
Get all the upgrades in this skill tree to turn your Purifier into a relentless grenadier, with bigger blast areas, ammo capacities and damage than other grenade-wielding Knights.
A rather complex ability that increases your damage by +1 each time you use a Psychic ability, up to a maximum of +3. As this only lasts for one turn, send extra AP to your Purifier (via the Librarian’s Litany of Hate or the Justicar’s Honor The Chapter) to make the most of that turn.
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