Necron Destroyer Cult Review


Instruments of Destruction:

The Destroyer Cult is, without a doubt, one of the better formations in the Necron Codex. Fast, maneuverable, and potent, all in one group. These bad boys are good at killing just about everything. Check out the Tactics Corner for more great Necron Codex articles and more about 40k to bring your generalship up to the next level.

Cult of Destruction:

What is better than one Destroyer who gets preferred enemy, can cut through 3+ armor, and has a chance to glance any vehicle in the game? How about a whole cult of them that can reroll that devastation. This is what makes the Destroyer Cult tick. You take a platform that is very maneuverable overall with their Jet Pack profile and has a great gun that cuts through Space Marine armor and allow them to reroll wounds and armor penetration rolls. It’s dirty in a “rusty dagger going for your kidneys” kind of way.

aventine destroyers


The Destroyer Cult is made up of one Destroyer Lord, three units of at least three Destroyers each, and a choice of 0-1 units of Heavy Destroyers. While not a cheap formation, the special rules they receive really help in pushing this formation forward to the top of the proverbial metal heap.


Your units retain access to their wargear option, which for the most part is rather limited. Destroyers can upgrade one model to a Heavy Destroyer, but there is arguments over whether you would need to have the three Destroyers first, which is the main restriction to the Destroyer units, before you can upgrade one to a Heavy Destroyer. So that would a unit made up of three Destroyers and one Heavy. You do have that option to get a unit of Heavy Destroyers anyways, which is probably the best move so that they can focus on other units with their Heavy Gauss Cannons. The Destroyers come stock with their Space Marine Armor shredding Gauss Cannons. At a very nice strength 5, they will do a good amount of damage to most things on the battlefield.

The Destroyer Lord has access to all the regular wargear available to such a high class Necron Commander. Most common to him are the Warscythe and Nightmare Shroud to get that 2+ armor. What is great is that he doesn’t have to run with the Destroyers. Plop him in a unit of Wraiths to give them Preferred Enemy and tank all those small arms fire wounds. Put him into a big block of Warriors again to give them Preferred Enemy and give them the much needed close combat punch they are lacking. Tool him to your needs and consider giving him a Resurrection Orb if you are going to put him into another unit as a support character that has access to Reanimation Protocols. That Res Orb can certainly come in handy to keep that unit alive for a key turn.

Special Rules:

The formation receives a few very nice special rules. First is Move Through Cover. As Jetpack Infantry, this mitigates the Dangerous Terrain tests they have to make so they can go into and out of cover with impunity and also removes the -2 to charge which you may need to tie up a unit.

If you make your Destroyer Lord your warlord from this formation they get to reroll their warlord trait if rolling from the Necron Codex. Not great, but any extra rule is not too bad.

What really makes this unit tick is the special rule, “Extermination Protocols.” This rule really makes the Destroyer Cult shine. Extermination Protocols allows all units to re-roll failed to wound rolls and failed armor penetrations rules in the shooting phase. Combine that with the already good strength of the Destroyers Gauss cannons and the Gauss rule itself, which allows you to wound models regardless of toughness on a 6 or to glance a vehicle on a 6 and you have a potent unit that has a chance to wound anything on the battlefield. Combine that as well with Preferred Enemy these metal guys with a chip on their shoulder against everything will do some work against MSU units.

Add on to this that Destroyers are toughness 5 with an armor value of 3 and have Reanimation Protocols and you have a very durable shooting platform that can jump around the table and chip away at the enemy.



A great thing about this formation is that it is very flexible. Flexible in that while it is a good chunk of points, it can easily fit into a Decurion Detachment to benefit from the +1 to their Reanimation Protocols. You will usually be limited to the basic three units of three Destroyers and the Destroyer Lord, but that is still a great pack that adds a lot of punch to your force. You can also create an entire army of Destroyers, taking two Destroyer Cult formations with 3-6 Destroyers in each and Heavy Destroyers.

The formation is also flexible in how it can move and deploy. As Jet Pack Infantry, you have to option to deep strike, which is one way you should really be using your Destroyer Cult. This allows you to put them in the place that allows them to do the most damage on the battlefield. This also gives you a way to null deploy, especially if you have another unit with The Solar Staff that makes units only fire snap shots at it for a turn. This gives your army a lot of flexibility against alpha strike armies and having a unit or two that can harass the backfield as the rest of the opponent’s army surges forward is a great thing. They are great for wiping out those “Grot Squads” like Scouts, small Space Marine squads, and Grots that are typically holding onto backfield objectives.

With their Jet Pack assault move, terrain will be your friend as you will be able to jump out, shoot, then jump back into cover. There is a randomness to this with the 2d6 assault move and you can get caught out, but this tactic is solid against just about every adversary.

One thing to watch out for is that while Destroyers are good shooters, they aren’t fantastic. A unit of three will only put out six shots which, with their special rules, should put a decent number of wounds onto a unit, won’t be enough wipe out them whole sale. Larger units can do this task, but you will usually have smaller units to fit into your lists. They make great whittlers, or units that peel off a good layer of other units or finish off those pesky few left over from other shooting.

Another thing to think about is that while they are mobile and resilient, they are still very susceptible to close combat. A good assault unit or even a middle assault unit can hold up your units of Destroyers or take them down if they are stuck out in the open.

The Destroyer Cult, in combination with other formations like the Canoptek Harvest or Decurion Detachment will allow you to put more and more pressure upon the enemy and force them to make difficult choices while you continue to shoot, scoot into cover, and tie them up with other units on your way to victory. Give this formation a look over, it has a lot of teeth to add to your Necron forces.


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.

9 Responses to “Necron Destroyer Cult Review”

  1. Requizen November 23, 2015 12:32 pm #

    So the way I usually run mine – and I run it a lot because I’m a big Destroyer fan – is 3 units of 2 Regulars/1 Heavy (never heard the argument that you need 3/1 instead) and then the unit of 3 Heavies. While mix and matching guns is occasionally not the best idea, the ability to get 6 Heavy Destroyers with rerolls to Pen and Wound is huge against things like Imperial Knights, Wraithknights, and Stormsurges.

    What do you think about this sort of setup? It ends up being pretty expensive (around 700 once you put some upgrades on the DLord), but you get a lot of mean shooting that can jump around, and still leaves room for things like a Canoptek Harvest or just general troops in the Reclamation Legion.

    • AngryPanda November 23, 2015 5:01 pm #

      That’s how I run mine Req. While just about every tactics article I read claimed that this ruins their threat profile those always seem to asume there is a purity of perfect targets fot the normal destroyers. With the one heavy Gaus even a normal unit is amassive threat to monstrous creatures and vehicles. I have to test it more but so far it feels way better than 3 normal ones.
      I’m also trying to run a full 3 heavy destroyers right now (with the logic that I already paid the tax for everything else so I want the best stuff too), so far that has not been too impressive but I need to test it more.

  2. Reecius November 23, 2015 12:35 pm #

    Great review, CaptainA! I agree, this is a fantastic formation.

    • CaptainA November 23, 2015 5:47 pm #


  3. Jack Shrapnel November 23, 2015 1:04 pm #

    My go to army list is double canoptek formation with a full out destroyer cult – 3+1 heavy each and the unit of three heavies. I find having them have a heavy with the regulars gives them range to bring some more heavy firepower to bear on turn one when you are unlikely to be in range of the gauss cannon and are often wanting to pop some marine boxes anyways. Paired with wraiths you have an extremely durable army and the destroyers largely get left alone as people want to stop the wraiths early on. Normally don’t even Decurion, finding that the additional durability isn’t even needed over the amount of extra wraiths/destroyers I can fit in instead.

    small destroyer units with jetpack moves also snags me maelstrom objectives as well.

    combat is where they get messed up though… just can’t fight their way out of wet paper bag (even if they just refuse to die though)

  4. Mr.MoreTanks November 23, 2015 11:48 pm #

    Spot on man, Destroyers are so awesome.

  5. Castle November 27, 2015 9:32 pm #

    Honestly love this formation. I usually run it in a decurion with a harvest as the other aux, those 2 formations benefit each other so well in that the D.lord can party with the wraiths who will take the enemies attention away from the destroyers who can freely whittle away at the enemy behind the harvest.

    One of the best ways we have to punish MSU since they only deal 4/5ish wounds in a round of shooting anyway when taken in groups of 3(I like to run them 2 regular 1 heavy).

    Biggest weakness as has been stated here is that they can’t win combat, they won’t lose combat to shitty assault units(and can last decently against decent assault units) but with 1 attack at str4 each they really aren’t going to do anything in assault.

  6. Aakkonen FIN March 4, 2016 2:29 pm #

    Tbh thx to 7ed ‘dex Cult requires 3 units of dessies and dessie lord, and that lovely restriction at mininum all destroyer units (3) has to have atleast 3 models in it, so it means I have to have atleast 9 destroyers + destroyer lord = thats over 140€ for 1 formation…. feels pretty deep for casual gamers.

  7. derklonk June 21, 2016 5:33 am #

    I love the D-Cult and use it often and always with one unit of 3×1 heavy Destroyers, but I dont mix heavy and normal gys. I prefere the heavy standing back, mostely next to a triarch stalker (for the BS+1) with sync heavy gauss cannons (same range). If thats not enough heavy support, I put another units of heavy D’s on the other side of the stalker or the other flank of the table. Sure, the second unit of heavy D’s is not a part of the D-Cult, but its still better and good to dosage than a lot of other units.
    Shooting at gargantuans with normal Destroyers still is okay (Extermination Protocols) but somehow a waste. I leave that to the Ghost Ark (counting for gauss-dmg), heavy shooting (AP2) and Deathmarks (2+ to wound).

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