The Pandemic Theory Hammer Take Over

by | Jan 19, 2021

A new year and for the last couple years a new codex, this time around it just happens to be the amazing Death guard. As is the case with every new codex release we get some knee jerk reactions. This is nothing new, but what makes it more problematic is with a raging pandemic, we don’t have a healthy tournament scene to confirm or deny our worst fears. It is under this environment that the Warhammer 40k competitive world centered on one Primarch of the Death Guard Mortarion.

It took only 24 hours for codex previews in hand and Youtube video battle reports to go up for the hysteria to began. Everywhere I looked, from Facebook to Reddit were reports of just how broken Mortarion is. With my favorite thread titled: Is Mortarion unkillable? Where we find math hammer used to make the case that Mortarion is biggest problem for the game, but is really true? 

Well, it doesn’t matter so much if it is true, since the reactions demonstrate starved players looking for answers on what is good and what is bad, or what they need to get hot and bothered about, even when they can’t leave their basements to play a single game. In the past, these sort of freakouts would get some notice, but patience would rein things in just enough, as we waited for enough tournament results to confirm what we been told. Today we don’t have that luxury, so we have to assume the first impressions of groupthink and the YouTube algorithm are what is true about the meta. 

The pandemic besides keeping us from playing games, is also making us very thirsty for any Warhammer 40k discussion or content no matter the message it is trying to tell. Being stuck behind computer or TV screens does that to people, and dropping your own to two cents into a raging Warhammer 40k debate is just too tempting. We though have to keep perspective, if at all possible, because I can remember even the best players saying things like Necrons suck just a few months ago, while Silent King continues to rack up what few tournament wins we can track. 

In other words, the meta is no longer controlled by the almost instant tangible data we could use to make informed judgements. The pandemic has made this elongated this progress. Instead, the talking heads start us down a one path and the Warhammer community mob takes the wheel without concern what is really reality. So is Mortarion broken, well certainly it is a possibility, he does basically have infinite Warlord traits, but should we be base this judgement on preview copies, a few videos, and neckbeard mathhammer zealots trying to prove esoteric theoryhammer points?

The real danger though is if Games Workshop takes the mob’s lead, thinking it is vetted information and nerfs units and abilities because of some fear of possible future bad feels. You can already see a bit of this, as the great regenerating ATV fainting spell caused Games Workshop to change the rules for Apothecaries rezzing them. When the data had been really inconclusive if it was a truly broken combo. Instead they should have looked at the core ability itself, not the one unit that got the most Internet fear mongering, especially when rezzing Eradictors was bluntly more problematic.

Of course, this should all go away once the World gets back to normal, but if this becomes a feature of the Warhammer 40k community and Games Workshop design team reacts too quickly, we could be in for some unnecessary and uninformed changes to the game.

If you want to continue this discussion watch my YouTube video shown below. 

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