Necron Canoptek Harvest Review

Lets take a look at one of the best formations in the Necron book today shall we? The Canoptek Harvest is all that and a metal bag of chips and will add a vital amount of punch to your shooty Necrons. Check out the tactics section for more great Necron Codex articles and more about 40k to bring your generalship up to the next level.

As stated before, the Canoptek Harvest is one of the best formations in the Necron Codex. By itself, it adds special rules to one some of the best units in the Necron Codex, Canoptek Wraiths and Canoptek Scarabs.


This formation is comprised of one Spyder, a unit of Scarabs, and a unit of Canoptek Wraiths. At the beginning of the turn, you choose one special rule from the following: Fleet, Reanimation Protocols, or Shred. Models from the formation within 12” of the Spyder receive that special rule for the turn.


Your units and Spyder can utilize any wargear that comes with them. Spyders go to power will probably be a Gloom Prism to add some psychic defense to the formation. Wraiths go to power will usually be Whip Coils to bring your Wraiths up to Initiative 5, which will enable them to strike before most of the armies in and out of the Imperium. Scarabs do not have access to wargear anyways.

Special Rules:

Models in the formation get the Move Through Cover and Relentless rules. Move Through Cover mostly impacts your Spyder to keep it moving forward and within range of the squad and Relentless will mostly be used with Wraiths that take the Transdimensional Beamer to allow them to charge after firing.


What this formation really does and why so many players love it is that it gives extra durability to your already tough Wraiths. It also gives a layer of protection to your Scarabs which can just add to their tarpit nature against low and medium strength opponents. The rule that most every player utilizes is Reanimation Protocols as this gives your models with 12” of the Spyder that vital extra save that can mean the difference between losing the unit and keeping it alive. Combined with the Decurion Detachment and your Reanimation Protocol roll is a 4+ to shrug off any wound.

This means your Wraiths with a 3+ Invulnerable save and a Toughness of 5 will have great odds of avoiding most wounds out there up to strength 9! Even with Instant Death wounds that double out your toughness, you still get to make the save, albeit at -1. Your Scarabs also benefit from this as tucked in cover, they can also avoid losing bases. Combined with their multiple wounds, and they can hold up all kinds of units and pile one wounds themselves with their auto wounding and glancing on 6 ability.

The lynchpin of all this is the Spyder. Without the Spyder in play, your models do not receive the benefit of the special rules. Smart opponents will target this model first, then the rest of your army. Keeping your Spyder in cover, out of line of sight, as safe as can be will make your Canoptek Harvest last that much longer. One thing to point out is that in the ITC, they rule the Spyder as an aura power, meaning that only units within 12” of the Spyder receive the rule. Charge out of range and your Wraiths will be without their precious Reanimation Protocols.

There are many ways you can use this Formation. One of the major weaknesses of many of your core units in the Necron force is that they are not the best in close combat. This Formation shores up a lot of close combat weaknesses in the army. You can use it as a countercharge group to ward off incoming units that deep strike into your backfield. I often use it on one side of my army and work up then over into the enemy. You can also go right up the middle and shove it into the enemy. A good example of this is in a latest short form Batrep where Reecius flooded forward towards Frankie’s Tau line and was able to snare many key units in close combat, taking their shooting to a minimum.

I recently used this formation to make a Wraith Deathstar. I utilized 6 Wraiths, a Destroyer Lord from the Destroyer Cult formation, Overlord from the Decurion Detachment and then Orikan from another CAD detachment. With Reanimation Protocols, your Wraithstar rerolls saves of 1, your Overlord can have The Solar Staff to force units to snap shoot at it for a turn, and your Destroyer Lord gives the unit Preferred Enemy. This unit gets into combat turn two easily if you daisy chain models back. It is very resilient and can put a lot of pressure into an army quick.

The Canoptek Harvest is both fast and resilient if played correctly. Model placement is key with this Formation as you have to protect the Spyder and Scarabs from the wrong kind of fire that will cut through them and limit their effectiveness. Use terrain to block line of site and give them the extra protection they need to survive and do the most damage.

If you are looking for some close combat to support your Necron forces, then look no further than the Canoptek Harvest.


About CaptainA

Aaron is a longtime gamer of many systems. He is an avid community builder of 40k and after running many 40k events in Portland, Oregon, has recently moved to Boise, Idaho and continues to host and run leagues and events. He has also recently expanded his repertoire and entered the second hand Warhammer business. Check out his website at to see how he can help you get rid off your old and unused models.

27 Responses to “Necron Canoptek Harvest Review”

  1. Reecius November 18, 2015 12:57 pm #

    Great review, CaptainA! I love the Harvest too, and use it in all of my Necorn lists. You get so much bang for your buck with it, it really helps to round out a Cron army.

    • CaptainA November 18, 2015 2:01 pm #


  2. Plainshow November 18, 2015 1:15 pm #

    Is the bit about the Adaptive Subroutines only benifiting models within 12″ correct? The whole would not benifit if 1 model was within 12″, just that one model?

    • CaptainA November 18, 2015 2:01 pm #

      In the ITC, it was voted or ruled that only the one model within 12″ would get the benefit. I read it the other way, but what you gonna do?

      • Reecius November 18, 2015 2:11 pm #

        It’s not the 1 model, the entire unit gets it, but if they leave the bubble, they lose it.

        • CaptainA November 18, 2015 2:17 pm #

          Gotcha, heard it the other way at Wargamescon.

          • Reecius November 18, 2015 2:42 pm

            Ah, sorry for the confusion. Yeah, as long as 1 model is in range, the unit benefits from the buff.

  3. AngryPanda November 18, 2015 1:31 pm #

    Played against a Decurion with 3 of those last weekend. That was no fun at all. Still trying to work out how to stop that with an army not specificaly aimed at just fighting it.

    • White925 November 18, 2015 1:36 pm #

      What army do you play AngryPanda?

      • AngryPanda November 18, 2015 1:52 pm #

        I was playing another Decurion, with a Destroyer Cult and 15 Tomb Blades and the same in Flayed Ones.
        I tried to tarpit him in the middle of the table with the Flayed Ones and Warriors to take out the rest of his Decurion with my Destroyers and Tomb Blades and be free to maneuver and do the Maelstrom but I had a couple of realy bad saves, thought the center would not hold, lost my nerve and screwed up the outmaneuvering part. Turned out that the averages caught up in the next turns and what little I had left in the center actualy did hold but by then I had already screwed it up.

  4. White925 November 18, 2015 1:37 pm #

    Great Write up CaptainA

    • CaptainA November 18, 2015 2:02 pm #


  5. WestRider November 18, 2015 1:50 pm #

    Move Through Cover actually does nothing as a Formation bonus here. The Spyder already has it as part of being an MC, and the other two Units have better Rules already.

    • CaptainA November 18, 2015 2:03 pm #

      Shut yo….to er is… abort..robot, danger will robinson.

      Yeah, missed that.

      • WestRider November 18, 2015 2:32 pm #

        That was actually more a comment on GW’s writing there. I don’t blame you a bit for assuming that a Rule they put in must have at least SOME purpose 😉

        • CaptainA November 18, 2015 3:50 pm #

          I was trying!

  6. Jural November 18, 2015 1:53 pm #

    A buddy and I were at a game store a few weeks back when we met a young player who was trying to build a necron force… Basically the advice that seems to always work is: “just add more wraiths”

    • CaptainA November 18, 2015 2:03 pm #

      They certainly are not wrong, but that can get really boring, and you will be in trouble if you face a big flying force.

      • Jural November 18, 2015 6:27 pm #

        there are other competitive builds and decent models, but typically more wraiths is a good call. All flyrants vs. all wraiths sounds like a dream final table somewhere 😉

        It isn’t Codex: Wraith for sure, but it’s surprising how often you look at your Necron list and say “It would be great to add X”, or “I could diversify my force with Y”, but then in the end you are better off pushing the “More Wraiths please” button

        • abusepuppy November 18, 2015 8:22 pm #

          Eh. I think having _some_ wraiths is near-mandatory for Necrons, because the army needs a solution to melee threats and Wraiths are very good for that, but 6-12 (while certainly not a small number) is about where you cap out. There are things out there that Wraiths are not terribly excited to fight (or get shot by), and the more you concentrate your list into just being one unit, the more those matchups will screw you.

          • Jural November 19, 2015 10:49 am

            I do agree, we have tried some 24 wraith lists with diminishing returns. Still, there are a lot of times we looked at a 12 wraith +X build where 18 wraiths really ended up being better.

  7. fluger November 18, 2015 2:41 pm #

    I really think wraiths in this set up are really effective, but the scarabs can be really useful as well. A great formation.

    • CaptainA November 18, 2015 3:50 pm #

      I’ve been really itchy to try my Scarab Farm again.

    • abusepuppy November 18, 2015 8:23 pm #

      I wish they wouldn’t have made Scarabs worse three different ways this edition. They not only increased their price 33%, they also weakened their armor save and made Entropic Strike VASTLY less effective against vehicles.

    • Jural November 19, 2015 10:50 am #

      Agreed- this was a really fun formation, I wish there were more formations this well thought out in the game.

  8. Deuce11 November 19, 2015 7:00 pm #

    I’m that guy that runs a 10 spyder deep, double harvest, scarab farm. It is really fun to play. My opponents appreciate the theme and the “impending danger” nature of the battle. It is frustrating for me how ineffective scarabs are against anything other than vehicles but it serves to balance the otherwise unstoppable nature of the list.

    The only army that consistently kicks my butt is Dark Eldar! Lances take out my force field generator. The splinter fire mows down the MCs. And bomber runs do double damage on the swarms. The next time I run it, I’m trying out 8 particle beamers to hopefully add an extra layer of pressure. The gloom prisms have had sick little impact on any game that they seem to be a waste. I think the particle beamers will be a better buy.

    One little trick I’ve been enjoying is attaching my D Lord to huge scarab swarm! It either serves to protect him until he can detach and join wraiths in an assault or it makes for a much greater chance at eating through a unit with preferred enemy entropic strike.

    • abusepuppy November 19, 2015 7:16 pm #

      I usually run Spyders naked, or with a Claw if I have some vehicles I might want to repair; Gloom Prism is typically too expensive for what it does (as there aren’t a lot of psychic powers that are all that dangerous to the list, at least not ones that people typically use) and Particle Beamer is just too weak for what you give up- better to just Run most turns.

      If you’re struggling with Dark Eldar, there are a couple solutions. Night Scythes (and their cargo) are pretty hard for them to handle- they shoot down Bombers and skimmers with equal ease and once the transports are dead, the infantry are easy prey for you. They also negate one of the main DE advantages, namely mobility.

      Destroyer Lords are a great front for a unit of Scarabs; they give the swarm some real hitting power and in a pinch can soak those high-strength Ignores Cover wounds, especially if you buy them the 2+ armor save. I’ve got a tactica on them coming up in the queue, so keep your eyes peeled.

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