Today has been an interesting day on Twitter, after someone put together a Tiermaker template for AoS 2. This is a pretty cool site that I'd never seen before - check it out! The template of called "AoS 2nd Ed Power Rankings" and you can put your own list together using it - well done to whoever discovered this and put the time in to creating it! (Edit: it was apparently HeyWhoa, who is awesome and also reasonably handsome to boot)
As a consequence of this, there are a bunch of Tier lists floating around and some of them are pretty crazy, so I decided to write one too. The problem with Tier lists is that they're highly subjective, and if you've listened to the JustSaying Podcast you know that we very rarely bother going past Tier "2" when we rank things because everything from that point tends to be close enough (ie, not in a great place competitively) that it isn't worth organising into tiers. Nevertheless, I followed the template format and this is what my Tier list comes out looking like.
I would call "S" the "ultra competitive" Tier, which last year only had DoK in it - what a year 2019 has been for power creep! "AA" is my "Tier 1", "A" would be my "Tier 2", and B would be my "Tier 3". Everything beyond that is in "Tier not the most competitive" (although you could certainly argue that Chaos Dwarves, Seraphon, KO in the right meta, and probably more should be moved up a Tier. Subjective!)
DoK, Skaven and FEC are undeniably Tier S - they're just a cut above almost everything else, and unless playing against eachother, it requires large player skill or luck differentials to beat them. What's really surprising me right now is the general lack of awareness in the community of just how good the new Slaanesh book is - they're absolutely nuts, and made even nuttier that they have highly favourable matchups against both FEC and DoK, a feat that few armies can claim! You could even make an argument for shifting Tier S down so that Slaanesh could sit above FEC and DoK since they have a good matchup against them.
Tier AA contains Fyreslayers. It's yet to be 100% proven what Tier Fyreslayers belong in, but after Ritchie's 5-0 at 6 Nations this past weekend plus the playtesting I've seen, there's a very good argument that they should also be in Tier S. They're slow, which is a problem, but Hearthguard Berserkers might be the best unit in the game and you just can't go into a fight against Hermdar Lords of the Lodge with their buffs up. Either way, one thing is for sure - they're another new book for which most old books just have no answer. Deepkin are also in here because they still dodge first turn issues, they still hit like a truck, they still have the original gangsta "I go first in combat" option, and they're s till the fastest army in the game. This will never fail to produce consistent, amazing results in the hands of a good player.
Legions of Nagash is largely overrated now and drops a Tier to A compared to the last year. No amount of Grimghasts being returned to the board can keep up with 2019 book armies that can remove them even faster. Less armies are relying on Magic so Nagash loses power, more armies use no magic at all, use prayers, or outrange you. Shooting is around and can be an auto-loss for Death. There are so many weak to awful matchups in the top tiers now, Death are relegated to preying on armies that still haven't had their new book show up, and having bad times against those that have. BoC and Tzeentch are in here largely off the back of Enlightened alone, but they're also a cut above everything that follows. Gloomspite Gitz haven't seen widespread play and are largely underrated. They may even need to go up a Tier, they're difficult to assess, but they are very good.
Tier B is now "everything else that is playable but not as good as the stuff above it", which is a lot of armies. It contains, in my opinion, armies that contain balanced and reasonable books like Khorne and Stormcast, and other armies that have dropped off in the meta due to the power level of the higher tiers.
Tier C and below is a crapshoot. You could mess around with these a lot and no one would really care. They're competitively poor armies that you play because you love them, or for fun. Sometimes they can win things with some luck and skill - we've seen plenty of decent finished for Seraphon, Kharadron Overlords, Phoenix Temple, and Beastclaw Raiders, for example. But if we're being brutal, we wouldn't choose these as contenders for a likely 5-0 or 6-0 at a major competitive event.
So there it is! A super quick article, a super quick tier list, and some qualification on why things are where they are. Keep throwing your own tier lists out but remember - just because a new book hasn't had major tournament finishes yet, doesn't mean there aren't a whole bunch of experienced players testing those armies and playing with them from the second they come out. Always base your assessment of an army on what it can achieve, not where it's finished in events; events are a very small sample size!