Horus engaged the Emperor in a one-on-one duel during the heresy and, from the bits of lore I have read up on, show there have been other Primarch on Primarch duels.

Has there ever been any reference to a Primarch stomping through the battlefield either during the great crusade or in the various civil conflicts during the Horus Heresy, using their immense strength to dual wield heavy/storm bolters with unnerving accuracy and just decimating traitor marines/cultists? Or unleashing great psychic powers at range? Or do the books/stories mostly describe them wielding impressive power swords/ lightning claws and other melee weapons?

2 Answers 2


Not all of them. Magnus for one was primarily a sorcerer.

A giant in both physical and mental terms whilst still an inhabitant of the Materium, the copper-skinned Magnus possessed tremendous innate psychic ability, and constantly sought to understand the nature of the Warp, becoming a sorcerer of formidable power.

And one can argue that Roboute Guilliman fought using a charming smile, iron will and MS excel.

Guilliman was a charismatic and gifted leader, beloved of his people and singularly capable of compartmentalising incredible quantities of information. He was an organiser, a logistician, one capable of turning the wildest theories into practical reality and rendering order from chaos.

The point is that the true strength of Primarchs was rarely in a simple melee combat. Sure, they were really good at it, but then, they were good at most things they attempted. But each excelled in one aspect of war.

Each embodied an aspect of war; one was the greatest strategist ever known, another the personification of the terror of war, a third the master of psychic powers, a fourth the greatest practitioner of the arts of fortification, and so on. The primarchs were the Emperor's answer to reclaiming all the lost worlds of Mankind, and welcoming them into His new Imperium.

  • The Fandom wiki is not a reliable source. What isn't directly plagiarised is fan fiction, and as no citations are given there's no way to tell the difference.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Jan 8 at 19:33

Perturabo's your primarch.

From Slaves to Darkness:

Angron whirled, wings extending to carry him back at his brother. Perturabo raised his hands, weapon pods unfolding from his armoured shell. Angron’s tattered shadow wings beat.
Perturabo fired.
Streams of energy and exotic rounds blazed across the space between the two. Fire and explosions wreathed Angron. Ectoplasmic smoke billowed off him. His wings were broken frames of bone draped with scraps of skin. Perturabo came forwards as he kept up the fusillade, each step a slow thud of braced pistons.

Though this was after some melee, of course.

and Angel Exterminatus:

More gunshots reached out to him, blasts of coldly accurate bolter fire and the spiralling contrail of a missile. An energy shield deflected the missile up into the roof space and another took the battering impact of the mass-reactive shells. He dropped his hammer to his side and swung his arm around, unleashing a thundering salvo from his gauntlet. Heavy, custom-fabricated rounds – fashioned by a machine of the Firenzii polymath – punched through Legion plate with plasmic armour-piercing warheads and used their victims’ body mass as bio-thermic fuel.
Warriors ignited like human pyres with every detonation, and Perturabo walked his fire through the Iron Hands as they rallied on their sergeants and officers. Each time Perturabo saw a ranked warrior establish control, he slew him with a lethally accurate round that punched through his centre mass and set him ablaze.

(Just before this he takes out a Rhino with his hammer and returns to the hammer immediately after. What would 40k be without melee? "Drive me closer I want to hit it with my sword!" is a meme for a reason)

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