It’s great to be back at the helm of another Balance pass for Combat Cards. The last balance adjustments were at the end of Season 40, and they’ve now had two Seasons to bed into the meta. Our goals for that pass were very focused around boosting the play-rate of specific Warlords such as Ilic Nightspear and the Parasite of Mortrex, and I’m thrilled to say that the usage-rate of these Warlords has more than doubled since then! We’ve also heard good feedback from you about these changes, which is the most important thing.

Something which we were less pleased with was the magnitude of the shift in usage, and that’s something we’ve taken to heart for this balance pass. This time around the changes will be noticeably more impactful, but the focus remains as ever on the very top and bottom of the meta. Warlords and bodyguards that are clearly head and shoulders above the pack, and the cards which have been left to gather dust in people’s collections. No longer; these cards deserve their time to shine, and for many of them that time is now!

Given it’s the beginning of the Deathwatch Season, we’ve made sure to pay some extra attention to the Deathwatch members of Combat Cards. This is no coincidence, as the Deathwatch have some of the lowest usage-rates of Space Marine cards in the game, and this has long been the case. What we’ve tried to do here is buff them in ways that make them synergise naturally with Artemis in particular, though as is the case with a deck-building game, that may not be the strongest way to play Artemis. That’s for you to discover!

Finally, I want to touch on a few of the nerfs; we always try to limit these wherever possible, but they are a necessary part of balancing healthy games, and we have a few prime suspects that have long held the top spots, but have evaded balancing for some time now. The two Warlords taking the heaviest hits are Kaptin’ Badrukk and Brother Lieutenant Tolmeron. The intent is not for them to fall into obscurity, but to make the choice of Warlords in these factions much more competitive when building decks.

With that being said, it’s time to go over the specific change notes:


Ettok Warspeke

Null Vortex: Duration increased to 3 turns, up from 2 turns.

Ettok has been a very unique Warlord to introduce and to balance. Technical challenges related to game speed have been resolved in the next update to the game, and with this pass we are directly buffing the rule as well in response to player feedback and a low win-rate, even considering how new the Warlord is. The rule has been generally received very well, so we hope allowing the silence to last back until the player has one more turn with it will make Ettok feel very impactful and comfortable to play with.

Kaptin Badrukk
Da Rippa: Extra attacks triggered by Da Rippa deal 50% damage, down from 60%

Kaptin Badrukk has a nasty habit of clearing entire rows of cards with impunity, almost without even trying. This change may seem small, layered with a price hike for Badrukk himself though could be far-ranging.

Brother-Lieutenant Tolmeron

Tactical Precision: On deploy Ranged boost amount is 20%, down from 25%.

Again, a very simple change to a very powerful Warlord. This is by no means a game-breaker for Tolmeron decks, so we hope to see him settle towards the middle of the pack, rather than far out in front as he is currently.



Honoured Aun’Vessol – Vior’la Sept Ethereal

+12 Melee

Dahyak Grekh – Kroot Tracker

-2 Points

Melee buff ready -> Melee debuff ready

Trait: Outflank -> Scout

Name Unknown – Kroot Hound

+8 Melee
1st Stat Upgrade: Wounds -> Melee

Aun’Shi – T’au Sept Warrior Ethereal

+10 Melee, +23 Wounds

Servants of the Emperor

Inquisitor Coteaz – Inquisitor Lord of the Ordo Malleus

-4 Psychic, -15 Wounds

Space Marines

Brother Andronicus – Ultramarines Stormtalon Gunship

-28 Wounds

Jetek Suberai – Deathwatch Space Marine Biker

+8 Points, +25 Melee, +30 Wounds

6th Stat Upgrade: Ranged -> Wounds

9th Stat Upgrade: Ranged -> Melee

This is a more unusual card adjustment, as we rarely adjust cards so significantly at once. However, this is a case where a card was made very early on in the game’s lifetime, and is significantly out of date, particularly when compared to equivalent units in the same faction. As a result, Jetek Suberai will feel significantly different to before, and will be a much more capable and tougher Melee specialist. Worth noting that in this case the card will be much more powerful than before, as the points cost will directly impact its upgrade amounts, something which we purposefully avoid when balancing points costs in all other cases.

Brother Nidon – Imperial Fists Centurion

+9 Melee, +40 Wounds

Trait: Shield -> Furious Charge

Melee buff ready -> Melee debuff ready

4th Stat Upgrade: Ranged -> Melee

6th Stat Upgrade: Wounds -> Ranged

7th Stat Upgrade: Melee -> Wounds

8th Stat Upgrade: Ranged -> Melee

This may seem like a confusing change, and it’s another case of an old card with a confused role, and extremely low pick-rates as a result. What we’ve done is shift Nidon to be much more clear in his role as a melee specialist, and made the progression through the levels feel more natural.

Brother Venix – Salamanders Ironclad Dreadnought

Ranged buff ready -> Melee buff ready

1st Stat Upgrade: Ranged -> Wounds

3rd Stat Upgrade: Ranged -> Melee

Watch-Captain Artemis – Deathwatch Watch Captain

+3 Melee, +15 Ranged

Edryc Setorax – Deathwatch Vanguard Veteran

+28 Melee, -13 Wounds

Trait: Target Acquired -> Deathblow

Brother Gjorn – Deathwatch Blackshield

+13 Melee

Brother-Lieutenant Tolmeron – Blood Angels Primaris Lieutenant

-6 Melee, -18 Wounds

Lieutenant Eothrus – Primaris Battle Leader

-3 Points, +7 Melee, -6 Ranged, -20 Wounds

Ranged buff ready -> Melee buff ready

Trait: Furious Charge -> Inspiring Presence

3rd Stat Upgrade: Ranged -> Melee

5th Stat Upgrade: Ranged -> Wounds

Brother Eizekiel ‘Cloud Runner’ – Dark Angels Deathwing Terminator

+30 Wounds

Brother Kyrolius – Deathwatch Corvus Blackstar

+16 Ranged

Vael Donatus – Deathwatch Sternguard Veteran

-5 Melee, +22 Ranged, +13 Wounds

Ranged buff ready -> Ranged debuff ready


Horticulous Slimux – The Grand Cultivator of Nurgle

+30 Wounds

Melee buff ready -> Melee debuff ready

Gibberfleth – Accursed Cultist Torment

+15 Melee


Specimen LV-111-AP-Θ – Hive Fleet Leviathan Tyrant Guard

+3 Points

The Black Lance – Genestealer Cults Sanctus

+2 Points


Mandate Manifest – Sautekh Dynasty Command Barge

+65 Wounds

Engine of Murder – Sautekh Dynasty Canoptek Tomb Stalker

-13 Points


Guldakka – Deathskulls Clan Meka Dread

-6 Points, +11 Melee

Ghaz’ghkull Thraka – Prophet of the Waaagh!

Secondary Trait: Inspiring Presence -> Fear

Kaptin Badrukk – Da Freeboota King

+7 Points

Flyboss Skardakka – Goff Clan Dakkajet

+4 Points, -38 Wounds


Uthrielle – Craftworld Saim-Hann Wraithlord

+13 Melee

1st Stat Upgrade: Ranged -> Melee

5th Stat Upgrade: Wounds -> Melee

6th Stat Upgrade: Melee -> Wounds

Ceghallan – Craftworld Ulthwe War Walker

+2 Points, -10 Ranged

Azadaar Silverhelm – Shining Spear Aspect Warrior

Ranged debuff ready -> Melee buff ready

Trait: Big Game Hunter -> Scout

2nd Stat Upgrade: Ranged -> Melee

8th Stat Upgrade: Ranged -> Melee

Leagues of Votann

Yva Blodfyr – Greater Thurian League Beserk

+5 Melee, +13 Wounds

Kottak Kronn – Greater Thurian League Brokhyr Thunderkyn

+33 Wounds

Yuka Cythnn – Greater Thurian League Einhyr Hearthguard

+10 Melee

9th Stat Upgrade: Ranged -> Wounds

Well, that was quite a read! I hope you are just as excited as I am for this upcoming Season. Personally I am most excited about taking Jetek Suberai for a spin in ranked. Which card are you most interested in trying out? Join our community channels to let your thoughts be known!

As always, we will carefully monitor the impact of these changes, and continue to make future adjustments as necessary. Our main aim this time around is to shift the needle more significantly, something which we achieved with our last pass but not to the extent that we or our players may have expected.

Enough talk,