Hello escapees of the wastelands of the internet Forum, SaltyJohn here from TFG Radio to bring you a break down of Magnus the Red, Daemon Primarch of the Thousand Sons. For more reviews, bat reps, tactics discussions, and analysis check out the Tactics Corner!
Magnus the Red, Primarch of the Emperor’s 15th Legion, a psyker of such magnificent power he is second only to the Emperor himself; a psyker of such immense power that while he can feel the presence of the Sisters of Silence they’re pariah abilities have no effect on his power to manifest the energies of the warp and bend them to his will. As a Primarch, Magnus was formidable enough; in the 41st millennium as the chosen scion of Tzeentch, twisted and made great with the power of the warp into a Daemon Primarch he is truly a terrible force to behold. With massive wings and a form swollen with the powers of Chaos he can lay waste to entire swathes of the armies of the Emperor with his mind, let alone the devastation he sows with his weapons as he falls upon the adherents to the cadaverous false Emperors will. But does Daemon Primarch Magnus live up to his fluff hype on the table top?
At 650 points Magnus is a hefty unit to take. For those 650 points you do get one burly psyker with a plethora of Special Rules and a decent stat line: WS7 BS7 S8 T7 W7 I7 A6 Ld10 Sv4+
- Flying Monstrous Creature
- Adamantium Will
- Daemon of Tzeentch- Re-roll failed saves of 1.
- Deep Strike
- Eternal Warrior
- It Will Not Die
- Psyker level 5
- Veterans of the Long War
- Omniscient Eye- Has line of sight to every unit on the battlefield for his psychic powers.
- Unearthly Power- Harnesses Warp Charges on a 2+
- Lord of Flux Warlord Trait- Enemies within 12″ treat all terrain, even open ground, as difficult terrain. Any unit that runs, flat outs, turbo boosts, or charges within 12″ takes a dangerous terrain test.
- Blade of Magnus- S User, AP2, Melee, Force, Soul Blaze, Transmogrify (Any roll of 6 to wound that kills a model creates a Chaos Spawn).
- Crown of the Crimson King- 4++ save, Magnus never suffers from Perils of the Warp.
- Gaze of Magnus- Warp Charge 5. Beam 18″ Strength D, AP1, Assault 1.
- Knows all the powers from the Tzeentch and Change tables.
So Magnus is a beast. With all these special rules and the ability to harness Warp Charges on a 2+ you’d think he would be nigh unstoppable. The problem is the Armor/Invul save and lack of Feel No Pain. Don’t get me wrong Magnus is a great unit, especially if you use him correctly. The ability to shoot his psychic powers wherever he wants on the board regardless of LoS is a big benefit to him, especially as he’s flying around. That brings us to a big bonus, he flies! There are very few lists, outside skew lists and the random Battle Company build, that bring much in terms of anti-air these days. The biggest key to Magnus is running him in an effective manner. At 650 points you can’t just shoe horn him into any old list. The list has to be built around taking him. Unfortunately there are a few specific ways you can run Magnus.
Pros: Powerful psychic phase. If you take him with something that can summon Pink Horrors you can effectively rule the entire Psychic Phase and always have enough dice to insure you can shoot any powers you may want of the 5 he can cast. Hard to hit, as a flying monstrous creature he is a difficult target to hit for most armies. His close combat prowess is formidable. I don’t suggest sending him to try and cleave through something with Close Combat D weapons but anything else he should cleave through easily enough. Plus he can make you Spawn with his CC kills!
Cons: Fragile. I know, but T7 with only a 4++ and no FNP is a fragile unit. He can’t roll to get the re-roll to saves power and he only re-rolls failed saves of a 1. There is a lot of S6+ shooting in 40k these days, especially of the Twin-linked, and/or Shred variety. He dies fast once you start getting the hits on him, especially in later rounds. Expensive, at 650 points he really needed to be a tougher unit with maybe some less effective psychic phase shenanigans or have his current rules but at 400 points.
There are certainly ways to mitigate most of these problems, as we’ll discuss below.
Magnus can be taken in any Thousand Sons CAD as a Lord of War. Not a bad way to run him. If you want to run actual Thousand Sons marines with Magnus this is probably your only hope. The formations that use Magnus and/or Thousand Sons are just too expensive and restrictive. In fact most ways you see Magnus being put in lists around the internet and in stores is with a CAD of some sort attached. Normally Daemons.
A crazy, but fun, list using Magnus in a CSM CAD:
- Magnus, LoW
- 1k Sons Exalted Sorcerer
- 2x 10 Rubric Marine units with 2 Cannons in each
- 20 CSMs with MoT and VotLW, 2 meltaguns
It isn’t a great tournament winning list but if you’re looking to have Magnus lead the Thousand Sons into battle in a standard, 1850 point, game of 40k this is likely your best bet. There are several formations Magnus can be taken in. The Sekhment Conclave can be composed of Magnus and 3-9 units of Scarab Occult Terminators. Unfortunately Scarab Occult Terminators are 250 points per 5 and only 1 wound each. Magnus plus 4 minimum squads with no upgrades would clock in at 1650 points…
A popular way to take Magnus, and still be able to field something else, is the Rehati War Sect. The Rehati War Sect is Magnus plus 3-9 Daemon Princes or Exalted Sorcerers. I ran a version of this with Magnus and 3 Sorcerers on Discs in my most recent battle report for TFG Radio. Usually the Rehati War Sect that uses Sorcerers will be run with a bare bones Daemons CAD featuring Heralds of Tzeentch and Pink Horrors. In this list you want to roll on the Malefic table until you get Cursed Earth. This way you can get Magnus down to a 2++ save re-rolling 1s. This is far and away the best way to run Magnus if you’re committed to doing so. Another iteration of the War Sect that is popular is Magnus plus 3-4 Daemon Princes with wings. If you take 4 that’s your list. If you take 3 you have room for a small Allied Daemon detachment. With the Flying DPs you’ll be abusing the fact you can fly around casting a ton of psychic powers a turn. Hopefully you get Cursed Earth and a few Summoning powers, plus maybe Endurance so you can get Magnus a 2++ re-rolling 1s save and a 4+ Feel No Pain! Even without Cursed Earth, he can still “Bless” himself for a 3++ re-rolling 1s so not too shabby either. It is a list that would be dependent on going first more than any other list I can think of. Planning for the potential seize, or running into Coteaz, would be of utmost importance for this list.
An important aspect of this list that I forgot to include in the original draft of this article is Magnus’ ability to summon Burning Chariots. Summoning 5 Chariots over the course of the game is meta breaking for a few lists. Notably Eldar jet-bike spam and Battle Company. If you combine Magnus’ ability to reliably pop transports, thanks to his Psychic phase dominance, with his ability to summon Chariots of Tzeench with their AP3 shots you get a great Battle Company counter.
All things considered Magnus is an amazing model and a powerful, if a bit over costed, unit. The addition of Daemon Primarchs into 40k is most welcome and with a small points adjustment I think the future Primarchs that might be released by GW for 40k could be potentially great additions into the game. If you’re going to run Magnus the Red just be sure to take him in a list that can get him Cursed Earth. If you can, and you can keep it up most of the game you’ll be doing quite well against your opponents! Good luck out there Thousand Sons!
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