The Dead Walk Again: A Necron Codex Review

Hello my lovely ladies! I finally got a copy of the cron dex (I’m a bit late to the party I know) and man is it a good time to be a robot lover. From a first glance, Necrons have some really amazing tools at their disposal, and the depths to their combos are near endless.  I’m going to review this book much like I did my Tau review and really just hit some cursory highlights, but honestly that will only be about 50% of the ways this army can function.  Much like Chaos marines, the power comes from the details.

Allow me to first break down the Dynasties. The only 3 that really strike me as competitive are Novokh, Mephrit, and Sautekh. The only reason Sautekh even warrants it’s mentioning is because a lot of the special characters happen to be Sautekh, and there are a bunch of synergistic tricks and nuances you can do with them. I’ll cover some of these tricks a bit later in the article, but first I want to get right to the strong units.

Novokh and Mephrit really want you to polarize how you build your detachments, due to one being direct combat based and the other being directly shooting based. There is definitely value to mixing these two styles as well, but in general I think you’ll find a lot of lists inherently favor one verison and in turn focus on that respective dynasty.

Now that I’ve covered the main competitive Dynasties, let’s move onto different units and why they’re good.


Overlords– Really we’re looking at them because of My Will Be Done, which is an amazing buff ability aura which gives +1 to advance, charge, and to hit rolls. This applies to both shooting and combat, but can be combined with the Tesla rule to generate extra tesla hits on 5’s which is pretty fantastic.

Crypteks- These little guys are absolutely fantastic for their bonuses to reanimation and the 5++ they give infantry against shooting attacks. Coupled with a res orb from a lord or overlord to reroll animation and they can really increase the longevity of your troops. They also fill the role of cheap HQ which will really help when trying to get command points.


Warriors- Specifically in blob forms, these guys can really turn into monsters that are a pain to remove. I’ve already covered how they can increase their reanimation, but now let’s talk about offense. 20 Mephrit warriors in rapid fire range (which is an easy feat to accomplish given all the teleportation tricks they can accomplish) can pump out 40 shots hitting on 2’s at s4 and -2AP. Alternatively, Novokh can buff their warriors to 2 attacks each hitting on 2’s rerolling to hit at S6. This is an incredibly durable and versatile troop choice, and really gives necrons awesome flexibility with their troops.

 Deceiver- This is the hero that Necrons needed. Honestly he’s just so good. He features the insanely broken character rule with just enough wounds to make it relevant, and he has access to the C’tan powers which you can leverage to really pump out mortals over the course of the game (basically Necron smite spam), but what really makes this guy stand out is the fact that he has a redeploy ability. This can let you set up alpha strikes into people (especially as nurglings and scouts are starting to become less prevalent in the meta) but it can also allow you to do insanely tricky stuff with Zandrekh and Obyron (this is really where Sautekh comes in).

To give an example of this, take the Deceiver and redeploy him and Zandrekh 12″ away from the enemy (after knowing you’re going first). Then move Zandy up 7″ away and teleport obyron and a unit of 10 Lych guard, Praetorians, or Flayed Ones to 1″ away from the enemy. You can also toss in 20-40 warriors or Anrakyr for the attack bonus too if you want, depending on how good your roll for the deceiver is. Rapid fire with the 20-40 warriors if able, annihilate screens and chip up tougher targets, and then go in deep and hard with the Lychguard/Praets/Flayed Ones. Is it just me, or it getting hot in here?


Wraiths– These pricey bad boys are crazy fast, durable, and hit really hard, especially with Novohk for rerolls to hit. These guys are a bit tricky due to their cost, but that’s what keeps them from being spammable. 3 wounds each with a 3++ means it takes 45 wounds to kill 5. Running 15 of these guys is only ~825 and I don’t think there’s an army in conceivable existence that could kill all that in a turn.

Destroyers– I’m not totally sold on these guys as they fall victim that S6 threshold where happiness turns into bolters vs tanks. That said, they’re really durable, especially when you consider they want to be far from the action. Furthermore, they have fly, can move and shoot no penalty, and aside from S6 they have good offensive stats. Definitely a unit worth looking at.

Tomb Blades– These guys, much like destroyers, are fast shooty guys with fly and reasonable durability. They’re a tad on the pricey side for what you get, but I think they’re worth it, especially when coupled with a bunch of wraiths and destroyers for tough target saturation. I’d load these out as Mephrit and give them tesla. Tesla really struggles due to its lack of AP, so Mpehrit and tesla are like peanut butter and jelly.

Tesseract Vault– This insane behemoth is nothing crazy, but coupled with the deceiver and maybe a transcendant c’tan, you can start pumping out a ridiculous amount of mortal wounds. I wouldn’t run this guy unless you’re going deep on the mortal wound plan, but I think it has real merit in that style build. Once you get past 6 chosen powers you can start to double up on the best ones and really let loose with mortal wound output by just casting the best few over and over.


So now that I’ve gone over the basic concept of Necrons being very polarized as far as army archetypes, and some really stand-out types of unit choices, let me move onto some sample lists. This time I’ll give you guys two totally different lists so I can demonstrate two different styles.

Mephrit Battalion
Anrakyr 167
Szeraz 143
Overlord- warscythe, veil, res orb 130
17 Warriors 204
17 Warriors 204
17 Warriors 204
Deceiver 225
Transcendant C’tan 225
Mephrit Super heavy
Tesseract Vault 496

A lot of this army concept was inspired by Nick Rose, former coach adn current player on Team America. We’ve had a lot of back and forth discussion on a mortal wound pumping cron army. The basic concept here is a lot of ob sec, durable warriors standing in front of the characters and Tesseract Vault. You can choose one of each power, then double up on the best powers like Cosmic Fire, and Sky of Falling Stars. Your warriors can launch a barrage of AP-2 shots early with the deceiver, and in combat they’ll be 2 attacks each, potentially hitting on 2’s and Szeraz will be giving another random buff. All that coupled with reanimation 4+ and a potential res orb, and a veil to get out of sticky situations and your army is a mortal wound spewing, AP-2 pew pewing machine. Hehe machines… Necrons… Get it…

Next we have a Novokh/Mehprit combo army which my good friend Chad Layton, the saltiest cracker alive (that’s not racist) has been trying out. He’s a diehard Necron fan and probably the only guy I know who didn’t quit on Index Crons so I definitely respect his opinion on the subject.

Novokh Outrider
Command Barge- tesla, blood scythe, Crimson Haze 162
5 Wraiths 275
5 Wraiths 275
5 Wraiths 275
Mephrit Battalion
Overlord- Warscythe 95
Lord- Warscythe, veil 84
15 Warriors 180
15 Warriors 180
9 Tesla Immortals 153
5 Tombblades- shield, scope, particle beamer 145
5 Tombblades- shield, scope, particle beamer 145

This is a much more balanced army with a crazy combat command barge, a ton of Novokh wraiths and a lot of solid AP shooting in the form of warriors, immortals, and tomb blades. This one is way more balanced and dynamic than the mortal wound brick I posted, so naturally I’m more inclined to prefer this list because I like balanced things.

So there you have it folks. My breakdown of Necrons and all their mechanical glory. I’m really impressed with the way this book came out and the amount of unique and viable options in the codex. It has a lot of character.  Hopefully it’ll stand the test of time and prove to be a strong contender moving forward!

27 Comments on “The Dead Walk Again: A Necron Codex Review

    • Which one? I didn’t write the 2nd list, so if it’s over blame Chad! I should’ve double checked it before posting it though. My bad on the QC

  1. Nice review!

    I think the one thing I would disagree with is your choice of Dynasties. Nephrekh doesn’t seem great at a first glance, but it has great synergies – the auto 6″ advance comboed with Adaptive Subroutines lets your Wraiths go automatically 18″ and still charge, which is very strong. Additionally, Nephrekh’s Stratagem to Deep Strike any unit for 1CP is very good, especially for keeping Destroyers safe from Alpha Strikes. Nephrekh Tesla Immortals hit with My Will Be Done can also go 11″ and shoot normally, making them great for capping objectives since they’re Troops.

    I think the Necron book is much better than the Index, but only time will tell if it can hang with some of the top table armies.

    • Excellent points on those nephrek synergies. That’s very cool i must say

  2. No mention of DDA spam? (the index edgelord list) Or is the spam dead, double dmg, strategems, cryptek healing d3, lower pt cost, mephrit, seems solid for gatekeeper lists

  3. Also something to consider with wraiths is in a aux detach alone with Nihlakh. Lost empire strat increases save by 1. Use deciever to move wraiths near a flank with an objective. pop strat…2+ invul save. (if going first). now thats a tough unit to remove.

  4. Nick, could you please do one of these for Codex Chaos Space Marines?

    • George! I could do one for CSM, but it’d be so much more in depth and detailed. These are initial reviews and first thoughts on new books. My thoughts on Chaos could fill a novel. Maybe if there’s so more demand for it I’ll write one up

  5. Destroyers reroll all hits and wounds for 1cp. Doesn’t that fix the S6 issue?

    • Absolutely, but then you have to be that specific Dynasty. If you are going to run destroyers I’d probably run them that way though

      • Not to hard to adjust the second list to fit into 2k That command barge is mean with this set up I love it. For ITC with the first list what 3 would you pick, Recon and what else?

      • The strat to reroll hits and wounds isn’t dynasty specific as far as I know, so not restricted there.

      • Yeah its not dynasty specific.

  6. Interesting write up! It’s nice to see a bit of a different take on things; appreciate there’s a lot still to figure out/test etc, but your initial thoughts are quite different to mine. May well be skewed by the local meta I play in though.

  7. Hey Nick,

    I want to thank you for starting up this blog as I’m finding the articles very interesting and informative. I’m currently deciding whether to get back into 40K as I enjoy playing the game, although I’ve never played in a competitive setting before. Through watching The Long War pod casts and Frontline Gaming’s articles and videos, it seems you guys have a lot of fun!

    I’m from the UK, so I’ll have to do research into what the competitive scene is like here. I’ve always played Necrons in the past as they are my favourite army, and I’m excited to see the new codex has a lot of interesting options.

    There is one question I would like to ask in regards to competitive play; Is it possible to run a list that is designed to outmanoeuvre your opponent, rather than alpha striking them or some other method of using sheer firepower? I suppose what I’m really wondering here is if there is a wide range of list styles out there, or whether the game is designed in such a way as to simply favour alpha strike type armies?

    I have to say, reading your articles is refreshing because it helps to see what the player is doing to win games, rather than focusing on what list they are using. I think the downfall of some games is that, in regards to the competitive side, people tend to focus on the character, deck, or in our case army list being played instead of looking at the player. I’ve always been interested in 40k competition, for example, but I find it off putting when all the talk focuses on what army list someone is using, or what crazy combo they abuse, instead of talking about how the player actually uses the army. It takes away from the player because I find many articles or blogs don’t talk about the kinds of tactical decisions you are discussing here.

    This has turned into a full-blown blog post itself! Whoops. Anyway, as I’ve said it is greatly appreciated a skilled player like yourself sharing things that most tournament players do not openly talk about. Because you know what? Reading your articles I think to myself: “hey, this sounds really cool and interesting, maybe I should give it a go?” Whereas in the past when all you see are army lists with broken / crazy combos or what have you, it doesn’t entice me to try tournaments out in the same way.

    Keep up the good work, and good luck for any tournaments you may be attending in the near future!

    PS: Fingers crossed my Necron codex turns up tomorrow :D.

    • I’m really glad you’re enjoying my content! It’s always incredibly heartwarming to hear!

      I think the only army that could really get away with maneuverabilty as its primary method of winning right now would be an Eldar one. But even then you’d have to have the ability to kill stuff as needed. It’s certainly not all about alpha strikes, but gone are the days of turn 5 objective stealing, and with deep striking being as powerfulas it is, being quick just isn’t what it used to be.

  8. Ok. I’ll bite.

    Why are space marine scouts and nurglings falling out of favor in the meta? To me, establish push back during deployment is one of the stronger rules in the game.

    • You’re like the 3rd person to ask this haha

      It’s not like a hard rule but just s trend I’ve been noticing. Imperial players keep getting their scouts wrapped turn 1, which means the scouts are actively hurting more than helping. Chaos doesn’t have that issue as they’re perfectly happy to get into close combat, but fitting a daemon detachment or a soup detachment in is hard because every army in chaos has such great strats you want to unlock.

      Personally at Adepticon i played against 1 player total running scouts and 0 running nurglings

  9. This doesn’t apply to nids obviously so it applies to what good guy soup, eldar, and chaos. For those match ups, doesn’t that just mean you turn your scouts into counter assault bait? The scouts are pushing back the opponents first turn DS, so they either come out of their zone to get you or they DS and double move or stick that 9″ charge.. If they assault and wrap you your (Death Company, Vanguard Vets, wolves, etc.) counter assault and double hit. You have the scouts hopefully BT to stop the warp time/quicken. Sorta seems like you get the best of all world, countering first turn DS, deny key powers, if assaulted then get to counter assault double fight and wrap them, sorta damned if they do or damned if they don’t.

  10. Whats your point on anihilation barges? I see them interesting for mephrit detachments.

    • I liked anihilation barges until I looked at an quivalent amount of points spent on tomb blades

  11. You say that you can’t think of an army that could kill 15 wraiths in a turn, given the number of wounds you have to do to push through the 3++. But one Death Hex and it seems like that suddenly becomes a much more manageable problem. Am I missing a trick with them?

    • Death hex can only work on unit, so at least you have that going for you. But yeah death hex would be really bad for wraiths

  12. As a standalone codex with no help from allies, which do you think has a higher power level? AdMech or Necrons?

  13. Nick, thanks for breaking down the codex and giving us your opinions on competitive units. I didn’t see much love given to the Transcendent C’Tan? What are your thoughts?

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