Many many games later, I have finally been able to wrap up my conclusions about purifiers. I believe now I have played a Purifier list against about every army type out there and then some. Even though I love the unit, and it just may be my favorite unit in the game, it has some serious drawbacks.

First off, lets establish a baseline. By a Purifier list, I am talking about one fielded with Castellan Crowe, 3-4 Purifier units, and the standard 2-3 Psyriflemen Dread in the backfield. Everything else is variable depending on point level and your flavor of the month.

Extras I have fielded have included assassins, Inquisition units, Mordrak, Librarians, Techmarines, Storm Ravens, Venerable Dreadnoughts, Coteaz, and probably a few others in that mix. Its really hard to quantify the number of games, but its easily 30-40+.

First off, the benefits of the Purifier.
Lots of heavy firepower. I field this unit almost exclusively with 4 psycannons, 5 halberds, and a Daemonhammer. So standing still, anyone within 24" will be hit by 16 psycannons shots, and 12 storm bolter shots. The unit comes in at 295pgs, which takes it up to 335 with transport.

This unit an take close combat, however, it will suffer greatly to those dedicated to assault terminators. So while assault works great, with purifying flame or hammer hand, close range shooting is where its at.

What I have done often do deal with close combat specialists or hard core hammer units is a techmarine in the forward units against a heavy assault. This generally stops it dead. Of course you are using Rad and Psychotroke Grenades. This along with a purifiers psychic powers is enough to stop most spearheads. I enjoy using one techmarine to stop any onslaught, but two in separate units works wonders.

The psycannon........
I cannot tell you how many times armour 14 has went down to a single unit of 10 purifiers. A lot. In fact I have not yet had one reach deep into my ranks as they have always died the first time they approach my purifiers within 24". The weakness of the psycannon if it does indeed have one, is against units with feel no pain. I had a game against  a Blood Angels jump pack list where I killed three marines with 4 squads of 10 purifers all shooting at it.

Nemesis Force Weapons
This part is quite annoying, as even though I know forceweapons are exciting and can kill multi-wound models, it so very rarely happens. Most of the time, for example against tyranids, there is some beast there that either is able to negate your psyhic power with 3 dice or there is a hood that beats you down. Just being power weapons of course has killed a plenty, but I think I have gotten off maybe 2-3 kills on multi-wound models over all this time.

Halberds are the cream of the crop. Really initiative 6 is wonderful. What is often funny is how 5 halberd wielding purifiers tend to kill so little, but its still a great weapon. With this unit, shooting is still the most preferred in most circumstances.

Force swords. I find it odd that these are not used more often. I think they are wonderful weapons. I prefer halberds for my purifiers because they are so dirt cheap, however strike squads etc just retain their swords for cheap killing. I prefer my halberds cheap. Anything not free had best not cost 5 or more pts per model.

Daemon hammers.... You've probably already heard this here before, Do Not put your single daemon hammer on your knight of the flame. A single perils caused me one of the extremely few losses with this type of army I have had. I lost my daemon hammer to double 1's, and failed to hold my objective. I needed to blow up a drop pod at the end of 5. Amazingly shooting failed and then perils on a knight of the flame with the only daemonhammer on the assault.

Where other units fail here, Purifiers rule. I have played years of Imperial Guard, and I love using morale to beat up tough units. Battle Psykers lowering the leadership of big units is hilarious. I cannot tell you how many times I have ran Paladins off the board. Its embarrassingly fun to do this.

Purifiers do not have this weakness. Being fearless stops things like fear of darkness, or other effects that have the opportunity to take reduce leadership and make you flee. This makes purifiers the ultimate unit for holding their ground and getting them where you want them. Too often I have had a transport blow up, only to have the unit pinned down at the exact worse time of the game.

Apparently this needs to become a two part. Next I will discuss why I am moving away from a Crowe/ Purifier list.

link to part 2


  1. Thanks for the article, I'm looking forward to part two. I'm just about to start up building a list and I'm debating on how I want to use purifiers whether I go with a "pure" list or use one as a true elite choice.

  2. Very interesting read...

    I'll be in the corner waiting for part two...


  3. That's why you have two hammers in your units ;)

    1. So true. I prefer one, but two works.

  4. Let's see I'll take a stab at why:
    A little expensive (not bad for what you get but still fewer overall units than other stuff in game).
    Low on the mobility is a factor, they can't zoom over the field.
    Die too easy for the amount of units you can field easy in a game.
    As you have said not really all that in assault, but needs to be within 24" for good shooting. This does put you in a huge danger zone though also, unless you can just steamroll your opponent.

  5. Running them as an elite squad is the way to go IMO, especially whren learning the codex. More units to play with means you learn their strengths and weaknesses earlier

  6. Yeah, I think the Coteaz henchman list with Purifiers as Elites is the superior build. It just limits the Techmarines you can field, since you'll probably want 2 x Purifier squads. Fortunately, Dreadnoughts are Heavy Support so you can still max out on them!

    The 'Crowe Tax' really isn't worth it.

  7. All this classification about one unit is very interesting. But I like it as I don't play GK but I enjoy learning about all the armies from different players.

  8. I completely agree with you on the force weapon thing, I recently went up against a purifier list, similar to yours (smaller points though) and my opponent relied on his force weapons to kill the trygons...needless to say it didn't end so well, shadow can really kill the psychic tests. Great write-up

  9. I had some fun with two units of purifiers and Crowe in 1000pts games. Crowe is kind of meh, but hurling him at a big unit and then blasting away while using his defensive stance isn't too bad.
    I always wondered if this list scales well enough into larger games.

  10. Isn't that a Matt ward codex he screwed up space marines

    1. According to our historians... Matt ward either butches you fluff or he turns your army into near unstoppable juggernauts(gray knites) or fairly powerful and can crush other SM with releative ease(necrons, blood angels) however this is very debateble. Btw the way I describe these armies in no way relate to my personal opinion of them each army has it's strenghts, I am simply stating what I have heard often from other gamers.

    2. I think his rules are ok. But his fluff is horrible besides the necron story and maybe the blood angels. all his others seem flawed. So anonymous just shut up an play the game. If you don't like the story then make up your own it is a big galaxy.

    3. ^ agreed. Think of your army like a house. Ok so people like Mat ward and Phil kelly come an give you the tools to build the house but they DONT tell you how to build it. The only provide the tools(codex) for us to create the house however we want(creating armie lists to suit our playstyles). Sometimes though it seems like mat ward gives some armies to many tools so the house ends up beig even stronger. My point though is mat ward mite suck at writing fluff and to a lesser extent rules, but we ulitamely create our own lists with what they give. Could you honestly say that you could write a codex that appease EVERY player of every race? NO it's impossible. I understand the mat ward/ gav thorpe whoever but you can't blame them if you can't win with the army YOU created. My philosophical rant is done now.

    4. Thanks Jaydee. I am both anonomyouses above I had heard lots of hate against mr ward and have bee searching for an answer thanks for clarifying it.

    5. Anytime man thanks for being honest don't worry I'm sure you honestly didn't know.


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