Yesterday I was discussing Purifiers, and why I am moving away from a Crowe oriented Purifier list. I have done extremly well with it, but it has some serious downfalls, that other more advanced players can take advantage of.

If you missed the beginning part of this conversation, you can catch up to it here,

Now, do not get me wrong, the Purifier is still probably my favorite unit type in the game. There is little that makes me smile more than unleashing the firepower of a 10 strong unit with 4 psycannons and 6 storm bolters onto a vehicle or unit. They are capable of fighting in all extreme areas of the game, and are only outmatched in close combat by dedicated units. So even though I am moving away from using 4 units of 10 with a Crowe style list, do not expect to see them fall out of favor in my army lists. Instead you will see me down to 3 full units, thereby filling my elite slots, instead of troops.

Lets talk straight numbers.
Not odds, just straight number of guys on the field. With a purifier list there just is not that many. Yes, you can get more than 4 units on the board, but its a serious sacrifice to do so. So 4 seems to be what I was fielding the most, alongside other things like dreads or inquisition etc. This makes the bulk of your force only 40 marines with a 3+ save.

That is just not good odds. Good anti infantry firepower is the bane of these lists. Rapid firing into purifiers is the sure way to get enough damage round after round, and a purifier/crowe list just cannot take these casualties. Continuous casualties just hurt too much.

In this regard, I have games were I have only had 1-2 guys survive in 2-3 of my 4 purifier squads. Some people will say, it doesn't matter, you either won or draw the games so it works. Well its not efficient enough for me. There are just better players out here than that. (I am extremly lucky to be part of a group that plays weekly and is full of the best players around my area). There just is not enough models to absorb the damage that comes in. One dedicated close combat unit, or lots of good rapid fire, and your strength is reduced by half in a single round. I do not let this happen, however good players find a way.

Its simple, 335 for my units x4, plus the Crowe tax, plus 3 psyriflemen dreads. Its not a lot on the field. That's 1890 in points.

Range/ Mobility
Unlike other unit types in the Grey Knight list, Purifiers are simply stuck with transports to get around. It is vital to bring as much of your firepower forward into range as quickly and efficiently as possible, preferably so that you are stationary so you can get in the maximum number of shots off. By moving, a psycannon is reduced to half of its number of shots. While this is OK, most of the time, there are better ways to get your guns in line.

While you can throw purifiers into larger more expensive point costed transports, you are adding tremendous liabilities to the cost of your list. Stormravens, Land Raiders are excellent in my opinion when used well, but the are cost prohibitive in a Heavy Purifier crowe  list.

So you get low numbers, and against heavy shooting armies, you have to move into range (limiting your shots by half). This means often getting pummeled by rapid fire weapons, which really is the often the bane of the this army type.

Better Means to close the Gap
I had made a list I took to a tournament some time ago, that pitted 4 units of Purifiers alongside Mordrak and his ghost knights. It was extremely successful, purely by accident by what it did for the Purifiers. Perhaps not completely by accident... but when I started to analyze why this list did so well and its strengths compared to what other lists I was fielding it became clear, Mordrak was able to give more flexibility to my purifiers. He comes with Grand Strategy, allowing me to pic d3 of my purifier units and give them scout. This got them in close as they deploy within the 24" range of the enemy lines during a scout a move. There are other options, but that alone is a pretty powerful one.

Next Mordrak drops in and runs into cover when he arrives, thereby (since they have stealth) making them extremely hard to get rid of. If you choose a good spot for their round 1 deep strike, they are extremely annoying to get rid of. What did this do? It allowed the purifiers to get in close, and unleash. It was simple, and overly effective.

Now I do not like Mordrak in general, as I do not think he is all that efficient in points. So taking the elements that Mordrak brought into the list that worked.... Grand Strategy, dropping a unit of purifiers (can only take three elite choices), it opens up a world of quick fast moving Grey Knight units.

Other unit types can deepstrike, teleport across the tabletop much faster than purifiers. This gives my purifiers a greater opportunity to be more flexible with the addition of Grand Strategy (you have a great number of options depending on mission and opponent). So in this regard, the addition of two Grand Masters will cover your list (my new list I have been working on) quite well. Two Grey Knights Grand Masters also come with psychic communion, thus giving you great control on how reserves work with your list. Psychic Communion allows you to modify your reserve rolls after they have been made by +1 or -1, and they stack. Personal Teleporters also allow for fantastic movement, which means that a grey knight army can be mobile and strike with full force rather quickly and with greater numbers where ever they are needed on the field.

Greater flexibility, quicker means to close the gap and be in range, a greater number of models on the board, and control of reserves. Going down to three units of Purifiers with these benefits becomes a no brainer.


  1. Well I had a 3 way game yesterday with me and 2 others. I decided to use my DKoK army and the other two ran CSM and GK the GK player ran a Similar purifier based list. One thing thy occured to me was they aren't very mobile (at least to me) and if you can close the gap fast they are easily killed(CSM raptors and beserkers killed most in 2 turns.)

  2. To think, people say Grey Knights are overpowered! Foolish people too lazy to think of how to kick their shiny metal poopers!

    This has been very informative. Perhaps you could make it a Tactica like the Dark Eldar one.

    Perhaps a Psilencer and Psycannon mix in the squads as the Psilencer is assault 6 and wounds EVERYTHING on 4+, even a Tyranid Heirophant! Downside is, they don't even scratch a vehicles paintwork. So best keep this one when fighting against numerous foes like Guard, Nids and Orks. Nids especially! In fact, use 4 Psilencers against Tyranids.

    I favour psycannons for Terminators as they can move and still use the psycannon at its best. Downside is the Termies cost LOADS of points.

    Just my thoughts. It all depends on you and who you fight against after all.

    1. the psilencer is a heavy 6. So on purifiers it does not work that well, as it makes you stationary to even us it. Psilencers if they are going to be used are better on models in terminator armour

    2. Oh poo!

      My Codex Grey Knights has a miss print or I need my eyes tested.

  3. I have to jump on the bandwagon...

    The two articles covering 'purifiers' has been interesting, easy to read, and just plain good stuff for noobs to experts.

    I'll be in the corner... inspired to play Grey Knights...


  4. The best tactic I've seen to take down purifiers was 3 basilisks. 3 Earthshaker cannons gotta hurt, because you can always fit at least 5 guys under the template.

    1. Your right Shrike in my game yesterday my Death Korps artillery destroyed a purifiers rhino then a thudd gun killed 3 out of artillery was suprisingly accurate...

    2. A properly spaced group of infantry only fits 3 under a large template. Assuming you are in area terrain (facing basilisks it would be foolish to not be), you are going to kill 1 maybe two purifiers per shot.

    3. Yes but when he have to do a disembark from a destroyed rhino he huddled his models besides the gun is heavy 4 blast barrage so I had 4 chances but I only killed 3 of them.

    4. It is nice when you catch them after a destroying a vehicle.

    5. The list I saw also had several heavy weapons teams armed with lascannons (I think they were part of the command squad(?) - I'm not an expert on Imperial Guard) purely to take out transports, as well as bombarding transports with the Earthshaker cannon if there was nothing else to shoot at. Of course, once the transport was blown apart the unit inside was almost completely annihilated by several Earthshaker blasts.
      It was most effective against power armoured armies that relied heavily on Rhinos, and didn't have many invulnerable saves to go around.

    6. The Collosus does this part best. If you are looking at this type of a combination the collosus does it without with a S6 Ap3 large blast and does not allow cover saves.

      The collosus has one drawback, and that is it cannot fire directly, although it has a minimum range of 24" to compensate.

    7. My death korps of krieg list the other day had 1 basilisk and 3 thudd guns as artillery. The great thing is I can take units of 4 for 1 elite slot of the the thudd guns and they prefrom very well despite Strength 5 AP5 at 4 shots each and -1 leader ship modefier they are very good " Still and kill" I also keep the elite slots for my Grenadiers.

  5. It's funny how everyone is discussing about purifiers and it shows that they are just THAT GOOD!

    When you shoot at them, they are not better then any other Power-armoured Space Marine with the fearless rule and talking them down to it is very easy!

    It's just the psychological aspect, that makes them "better" as they can virtually deal with everything without specializing for it- and that's what scares most people!

    In the end I wouldn't change my army (list) just because my opponent fields them- they are just the target with the highest priority!

    If you should need 3 Earthshakers to get rid of purifiers, then you're clearly doing something wrong there- they can't do anything beyond 30" (and even for that, they have to move)....
    So if you realize this, they are pretty easy to handle.(Having the longer arm-meaning higher range- just helps!)

    I play and played against GK so many times already and I barely saw anyone taking advantage of the unit,so that they were really appreciated.

    1. "if you need to take 3 earthshakers you are doing somethig wrong" Pure crap. The thing about this is that we are beginning to assume is that.
      1. All GK players run purifer heavy lists(not true)
      2. They are either very easy to counter or a brick in your ass( can vary on player)

      But what your forgetting anon is that they will also field stuff other than purifiers. So if I think 3 basiliks can deal with the entire army as a whole then why wouldn't I take them?

    2. Basilisks - insanely long range, good for punching through rhinos and power armour. One of my favourite units for taking out space marines.
      If they are "not better than any other power-armoured space marine", how would you take them down quickly before they get into range?

  6. Ok, I'm actually counting on the fact, that my opponent uses between 10-15 Purifiers in 1-3 Squads. In a Crow list, there are only 2-3 dreadnoughts that can harm me from more den 30" away- so every (D)E, BA,SW, etc. etc. can easily count on "not being in that Range and taking out the Transports".
    So IF my opponent has these 2-3 Units of Purifiers, I try to pop their transports in Round 1-2 and take distance from them (a mobile army really helps here). This is my first priority! After I have freed them from their transports, I simply shoot them down in concentrated fire- one squad at a time...

    Why should I take 3 Basiliks, which maybe have the output to do some damage, but will most likely not see turn 3? Furthermore, there are so many units in the IG Codex that throw S6+ DS3- around, why should I take the worst of them? I would rather prefer the "plasma-Russ"(I don't know the name...executioner?) as it can take down the purifiers with ease and is also good against the transports (and deep striking & disembarking units), let alone the fact, that it is better armoured (and does not need to fear the dreadnoughts nore the purifiers)!

    The purifers must either come into CC or find a good firing spot, depending how you equiped them... The letter is not easy to find and I often saw a squad of purifiers on one flank of my opponents army, just waiting for a unit to come into their thread range (which never happened!).

    Every time I see purifiers on food, I laugh and ask my opponent why he does that...most responses go like "because my list was already full"...those purifiers never shot!

    On the other hand I used my purifiers to scout behind a (central) ruin. In my first turn the purifier disembarked and climbed up that ruin (2nd floor), the Razorback next to the ruin. The Purifiers shot for 3 rounds, immobilizing one librarian-dreadnought, destroying a predator and a Razorback- my opponent got his second librarian dreadnought to attack them afterwards. Not only did they made a lot of damage, they forced my opponent to drive away from those Purifier and reduced his firepower in the process. But what he did was the only real solution he had- he should have deployed his army differently in the first place, but that is another story...

    Nevertheless, you can fight shooty-Purifiers if you force them to move! If you try to win a shoot-out against them on 24-30", then YOU ARE clearly doing something wrong (or you have AV 14 and maybe a coversave)!


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