Adeptus Custodes Codex Review: Captain-General Trajann Valoris

Mr.MoreTanks back to talk about my absolutely favorite force in all of the grimdark universe, the Adeptus Custodes.  As always, for more tactics articles, check out the Tactics Corner!

The current commander of the Adeptus Custodes, Valoris is an absolute beat stick that can go toe-to-toe with just about any model in the game right now.  He does have some major draw backs though, and some aspects of his rules I just haven’t quite made up my mind on yet.  Let’s dive into this review and see what we can get to.

The lore is awesome.  The Captain-General is a High Lord of Terra, for those unfamiliar, they are the governing council that rules the Imperium of Man in the Emperor’s name.  Additionally, the Captain-General is the highest ranking military officer in the Segmentum Solar.  The duties of this office are far beyond merely commanding the Legio Custodes and the guarding the Golden Throne.  It is a heavy burden, one that can only be undertaken by the greatest of those who have been chosen to serve as the guardians of mankind’s future…

First, let me just say how annoying it is to only get a weak little teaser about Valdor.  If you don’t know who that is, it is the Emperor’s first Captain-General and one of his oldest and closet advisors.  Outside of the Primarchs and Malcador the Sigillite, no one knew the Emperor as well as Valdor.  All we get is some line about how he disappeared during the Heresy and no one knows what happened.

Hurry up Forge World, get some fluff done for 30k.

Enough fluff, time for rules.  Here are his stats and his gear:

M: 6, WS: 2+, BS: 2+, S: 5, T: 5, W: 7, A: 5, Ld: 10, Sv: 2+/3++

  • Watcher’s Axe (shooting) 24″ Rapid Fire 1, S: 5, AP: -1, D: 2; (melee) S: x2 user, AP: -3, D: D3
  • Misericordia (melee) S: user, AP: -2, D: 1; Each time the bearer fights, it can make 1 additional attack with this weapon unless it is also equipped with a storm shield.

Let’s start with the less than impressive aspects.  At 250pts, Valoris simply costs too much.  He’s 10 power points for those of you who care about that.  In a codex where more affordable characters are available, special characters need to bring some crucial army wide buffs and abilities to the table top.  With Valoris, they just aren’t there.  Custodes units that are within 6 inches of him are able to re-roll to hit and wound rolls of 1, which is terrifying to be sure, but not the most useful thing.  He also has the ability to choose one of these three options once per game.

Moment Shackle:

  • Once per battle, if Trajann Valoris is on the battlefield, you can do one of the following: Regain D3 wounds lost by Trajann Valoris during this phase (you cannot do this during an attack or if Trajann Valoris is slain).
  • At the end of the Fight phase, pile in and attack with Trajann Valoris an additional time.
  • Regain up to D3 Command Points spent when you use a Stratagem (but no more than were spent on the Stratagem).

Now, the last one here can be pretty useful, especially considering how hungry a Custodes army can be for Command Points.  The other two are very situational and don’t really do more beyond helping Valoris be more of a crazy beat stick character.  And this is really what the issue is with Valoris at the end of the day, Valoris is a crazy killy beat stick character in an army already full of them.  He’s just too slow to keep up with the fast units in the book, and spending 250 points on a guy to guard your backfield is just not a good option.

All that being said, if you do put him on the table, are you in for a treat.  Getting him into a fight means that he will carve through just about everything.  Valoris brings the pain train in the most extreme way.  His WS of 2+ and ability to reroll 1’s to hit, means that his 5 attacks will almost always be all connecting.  Strength 10 with the ability to reroll 1’s to wound, also ensure that he is putting out the hurt.  Wounding most Death Guard on 2’s with a reroll is bonkers.  This guy can carve his way through just about anything bar the most insane tar pits or mortal wound dealers with ease.

Valoris feels like something you bring if you’re feeling fluffy or going to bring something more “fun.”  He just is super good at something that pretty much every other unit in his book is also good at.  I don’t think you’ll see him in really any serious tournament armies.  He can hold the backfield with some Wardens or Guardians like none other, but then you’re talking about potentially a ¼ of your army tied up in backfield defense when it is equipped to be carving up the heart of your enemy.  The issue here is, you’d have to spend a lot of command points to teleport him up there.  He needs to be surrounded by fellow Custodes to maximize his buffs, but then you are stuck walking across the table.  If you’re asking me, save him for an Apocalypse game or a pickup game, not a tournament.

Thanks for reading guys, I’ll be back next time to dig into the Shield-Captains.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!




About Mr.MoreTanks

Lover of gaming, whiskey, steak, poker, and politics. T.O. of the and events.

14 Responses to “Adeptus Custodes Codex Review: Captain-General Trajann Valoris”

  1. Avatar
    Ujayim April 9, 2018 6:56 am #

    Lore wise, love him. Huge badass in Watchers of the Throne, as well.

    Game wise?

    He’s an 8th of my army and simply not ever worth putting on the table, personally.

    After reading the books and them showing how he managed to kill like 20 servitors in less than a second, moving between turret fire, etc, I was expecting him to be bonkers.

    Didn’t really add up. Hoping for either a price drop or ability increase, or a rework in the next edition. As it stands, Custodes on foot just make me frown at what could of been.

  2. Avatar
    Dakkath April 9, 2018 8:25 am #

    Kitten should probably stay off the tabletop and go back to telling the Emp about what’s going on in the imperium.

  3. Avatar
    Dakkath April 9, 2018 8:27 am #

    Kitten should probably stay off the tabletop and go back to telling the Emp about what’s going on in the imperium.

    On a more serious note, given his rank, he should be buffing ALL imperium units instead of just custodes.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy April 9, 2018 8:57 am #

      I mean, with his warlord trait he does. But even Ghillieman, a living legend who is back from the dead, only lets dudes reroll 1s to hit, so I don’t think it’s unfair that Traj just works for his own faction. The Imperium doens’t really need more crossover bullshit than it already has.

      • Avatar
        PrimoFederalist April 9, 2018 4:00 pm #

        His warlord trait let is “Friendly ADEPTUS CUSTODES INFANTRY, BIKER and DREADNOUGHT units that within 12″ of your Warlord” do Heroic Interventions in your opponent’s charge phase. And he buffs Custodes to reroll 1s for to-hit and to-wound rolls. So… yeah. Custodes only.

        I agree he doesn’t need to do more for IMPERIUM units, but he should do more of… something. He should definitely provide a CP (or two), in addition to some other kind of buff and/or teleport. Just compare him to Calgar – he’s worse and for more points.

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy April 9, 2018 8:56 pm #

          Huh, for some reason I was thinking that trait was a morale buff to Imperium models, not the Heroic Intervention one. Weird.

          I agree that he’s bad- he is very much designed like a 6E or 7E special character, where he’s a ton of points invested into stuff that doesn’t matter and really niche abilities that won’t come up with limitations that make them even more useless. His Moment Shackle is _almost_ good, since it offers some options, but it’s stuck on a guy who is just a bad version of a bad character from the codex. Rerolling 1s to wound is good, but with as few models as Custodes get it really doesn’t matter enough- oh no, your shitty storm bolters will do slightly more damage to my basic infantry!

  4. Avatar
    iNcontroL April 9, 2018 10:40 am #

    Nicely written ben!

  5. Avatar
    Yakhunter April 9, 2018 11:41 am #

    I agree that he is a little overcosted for what he does, or bikes are undercosted, or both. Really wish he could teleport without the stratagem. I used him to great effect with a small squad of Allarus in a recent RTT though. Went undefeated and he played a big part in a couple of the wins. There is something to be said for having 3 7 wound characters with a 3++ in your list (2 bike captains + Trajann). Also, comboing moment shackle with, say, Grand Strategist looks like a really good way to sometimes get back more CP than you spent on certain stratagems.

  6. Avatar
    Ty April 9, 2018 7:35 pm #

    Is there a reasonable point cost he could have that would make you want to play him in tournaments?

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy April 9, 2018 8:53 pm #

      He’d have to be under 200 for sure. Foot characters with no special deployment and no army-wide buffs should NEVER cost more than 200pts.

      • Avatar
        Ty April 10, 2018 1:43 pm #

        That’s not really true. You can deep strike him for one command point.

        And very few characters have army-wide buffs. They’re almost all bubbles.

  7. Avatar
    Don Tomaso April 9, 2018 9:37 pm #

    His only mobility option is a 400p landraider that is also overpriced.

    Like I said multiple times before, good codex but some things really need point adjustments due to bad design.

  8. Avatar
    Rob Butcher April 11, 2018 7:36 am #

    A great model for the collection, but not for the wargames table. Have Primarchs/expensively costed characters had their day now that most armies can kill them quickly?

    The early days of everyone seeming to take RG, Magnus or Mortarion are over.

  9. Avatar
    NinetyNineNo April 15, 2018 8:05 pm #

    Kinda expected him to be killier. S10 looks nice and all but in 8th that’s not a huge difference from the common S8 for beatsticks, and A5 and Dd3 are decidedly unimpressive. He’s kinda like a more garish Draigo.

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