The Celestial Orrery: Necron Dynasty Overview – Nephrekh

Hello everyone, Phaeron CytoSlide here with another Celestial Orrery article for your viewing and reading pleasure! Check the Tactics Corner for more great articles and tactics.

The Celestial Orrery

8th Edition Necron Primer Series

 Celestial Orrery articles:

Necron Dynasty Overview – Nephrekh

The Mobility Dynasty

I know what you’re all thinking:

Cyto . . . Papa GW already did Dynasty Overviews on their Community Webpage, what gives with these unoriginal articles? Where’d our Thunderdome go 🙁 ?

Fear not my readers, these things will not just be rehashes. The GW articles were “Previews” that showed a couple of the special rules unique to the dynasty’s and 8th edition Necron Codex units.

These Celestial Orrery Overview articles are designed to get any Necron player quickly up to speed on exactly what each Dynasty brings to the table. They will serve as quick resources while list building so that players can find all of the unique Dynasty rules in one place so they can focus on their units and lists rather than on flipping back and forth between 5+ pages to figure out if their detachment is the correct Dynasty.

Dynasty Code

At first glance, it doesn’t look like the Nephrekh Dynasty Codex, Translocation Beams, actually makes Necrons any faster – it simply makes us more consistently maneuverable. Even without this Dynasty Code, our units can roll a 6 and advance around the board at the same speed as Nephrekh units. But from an army-wide perspective, Translocation Beams does make our army, on average, 2.5″ faster on turns where our units advance (instead of averaging 3.5″ by doing what plebeians do (rolling), Nephrekh units always get the full 6″). The fact that it keeps the My Will Be Done (“MWBD”) / Wave of Command (“WoC”) buff is a nice synergy, but was expected.

It absolutely makes our units more consistent and reliable on turns we advance, and it also makes everything more maneuverable in that our models can move across models (enemy and friendly) and terrain as if they were not there. This essentially means that all models benefiting from Translocation Beams have the FLY keyword when they advance. Moving through terrain and models is an especially big deal for our units that specialize in melee, since it lets them advance past screening units (and not even have to roll while doing so) or through cover that enemy units are hiding behind. But remember that this is not particularly useful on the turn we are looking to charge unless the melee unit can charge after advancing. Specific Synergies include lists led by Kutlakh the World Killer with his Death Incarnate ability and Canoptek units like Canoptek Wraiths, Canoptek Spyders and Canoptek Scarabs when they use the Adaptive Subroutines stratagem:

When it comes to shooting units, Translocation Beams makes advancing more palatable as we know we’ll be getting the full 6″ or 7″, which can ensure our units get to cover or an objective in a pinch.

Units that appreciate this the Nephrekh Dynasty Code the most include tesla Immortals with MWBD/WoC, Wraiths and Scarabs – but everything loves having a full 6″ advance and the ability to move past terrain and models on turns that they advance. Our HQs with aura buffs in particular (Lord & Cryptek) can make great use of the guaranteed 6″ advance to keep up with fast Nephrekh units.

Warlord Trait

This warlord trait is useful, but will probably only see use when it is taken on melee beat-stick HQs. If we deploy our units correctly to prevent deepstriking units and to screen from shooting attacks, our Warlord should not be getting shot or charged.

While Skin of Living Gold might not come up for most of our HQs or on most turns, it will be extremely relevant and helpful once our units/Warlord gets into melee. This trait also becomes more useful on our HQ options with more Wounds or that are more difficult to kill – meaning Destroyer Lords, Catacomb Command Barges (“CCB”), and Overlords get a shout out. It especially combines well with our Artefacts of the Aeons (“Relics”) that increase survivability, like the Sempiternal Weave, Nanoscarab Casket, Lightning Field, and The Nightmare Shroud. This trait competes directly with the Necron unique Warlord Trait Enduring Will, which reduces incoming damage on our Warlord by 1 (to a minimum of 1), and the generic Warlord Trait Tenacious Survivor, which on a roll of a 6, prevents the Warlord from receiving a wound each time it loses a wound. Skin of Living Gold deserves consideration as our Warlord Trait whenever you bring a CCB or Destroyer Lord, though if they are being built as a melee beat stick, they might be better off in a Novokh detachment where they can benefit from the very powerful melee oriented Dynasty Code.


Firstly, take note that his only works on Infantry and Swarm units, which include:


  • Most HQ choices (all but the Catacomb Command Barge)
  • Necron Warriors
  • Immortals
  • Lychguard
  • Deathmarks
  • Flayed Ones
  • Triarch Praetorians
  • Destroyers – and
  • Heavy Destroyers


  • Canoptek Scarabs

It is also only works on Nephrekh units, meaning it will not work on our Triarch, C’tan, or other Dynasty units. It takes a unit that is not on the battlefield and essentially puts them in reserves to be deployed during a future turn, so keep this is mind when determining whether you have half of your army deployed on the tabletop per the Beta Matched Play Rules:

Also remember that this stratagem allows us to bring the Translocation Crypt‘d unit into play at the end of any of your movement phases. This stratagem took a little bit of a hit with the new Beta Matched Play rules in that we cannot bring our units into play outside of our deployment zone on turn 1, but it is still very useful regardless:

This stratagem is one way to get our melee units up close and personal for a turn 2 assault (Lychguard come to mind, but they often prefer to be in a Novokh detachment for the better Dynasty Code). A unit that deploys via Translocation Crypt cannot move after landing, but they can shoot and charge.

Best Uses: Destroyers using Translocation Crypt to both keep themselves alive during turn 1 and to get a targeted alpha strike on your opponent’s strongest units. The downside of using this stratagem on a unit of Destroyers is that you lose out on turn 1’s shooting phase (unless you use the stratagem turn 1 to deploy your Destroyers in your deployment zone) and it obviously costs 1 CP, but in return you are guaranteed that your unit of Destroyers won’t get shot off the board. It can also be useful for a unit of Warriors or Immortals to get them immediately into rapid fire range, but remember that if a unit comes into play from this stratagem it won’t be benefiting from MWBD or WoC. The absolute best use for Translocation Crypt would be on our Tesseract Vaults, but as mentioned above, this is not a legitimate use since it only works on our Infantry and Swarms. Some other fun ideas include putting our Nephrekh Lord or Cryptek’s into the translocation crypt and then deploying them up near a Veil of Darkness’d or Ghost Ark-transported unit of infantry to apply their respective offensive and defensive buffs/auras.

Artefact of the Aeon (Relic)


The Solar Staff is a pretty neat Relic that can be brought by any of our non-named, non-C’tan Necron Characters wielding a staff of light, which makes the list of eligible models fairly broad with:

  • CCB;
  • Overlord;
  • Lord;
  • Cryptek; and
  • Destroyer Lords.

Assault 6, AP-3 is extremely powerful even with its average S5 and D1. This staff will melt whatever you aim it at, especially if it is on a CCB or Overlord (which come standard with BS 2). It has an extremely unique ability, but keep in mind that it only works on enemy Infantry, and only works during your shooting phase (so not during overwatch). When it blinds the enemy Infantry unit, it prevents them from performing overwatch attacks and it forces them to subtract 1 from their hit rolls until the end of the turn.

Since it only lasts until the end of the turn, it will not carry over into your opponent’s shooting phase, so it essentially only matters against enemy Infantry units that you are charging into (since the ability only takes effect during our shooting phase). Them not being able to overwatch, and then having to attack back in the fight phase at -1 to hit is pretty amazing at neutering your opponent’s ability to defend themselves against units charging into melee. This is a very good option for a relic if you don’t need The Veil of Darkness (since Nephrekh units are more mobile & they have access to the Translocation Crypt stratagem) and don’t have a strategy centering around a melee-oriented Warlord beat-stick, and while the basic Staff of Light costs 10 points on the base model, upgrading it to The Solar Staff is free, and it is a strict upgrade.

Named Characters

There are unfortunately no named Nephrekh Characters at this time.

Sample Detachments

Nephrekh Outrider (+1CP) – 689 pts

  • HQ – Cryptek, SoL, Chronometron – 95 pts
  • FA – x3 Wraiths, particle casters – 177 pts
  • FA – x6 Destroyers – 300 pts
  • FA – x9 Scarabs – 117 pts

A small unit of wraiths and a max units of scarabs to take advantage of potential turn one and all-but-guaranteed turn 2 charges. The Destroyers will be placed into reserves/deepstrike via the Translocation Crypt stratagem and will drop down and use the Extermination Protocols stratagem to delete an enemy unit. The Cryptek will take advantage of the Dynasty code to advance into place and provide RP support for our wraiths and scarabs (via stratagem if needed) and then get in position to provide a 5+ invulnerable save (and RP bonus) to our unit of destroyers once they land.

Another good option would be to drop the wraiths (and perhaps bring them in a Novokh detachment instead)and just take the x6 Destroyers and  two min units of Scarabs to bring the detachment cost down to very health 473 pts.

Nephrekh Battalion (+5CP) – 744 pts

  • HQ – Cryptek, SoL, Chronometron – 95 pts
  • HQ – Overlord, SoL – 94 pts
  • T – x5 Tesla Immortals – 85 pts
  • T – x5 Tesla Immortals – 85 pts
  • T – x5 Tesla Immortals – 85 pts
  • FA – x6 Destroyers – 300 pts

This battalion is base 444 points for just the required 2 HQs and 3 Troops. The main idea here is we are trying to bulk up our access to CP – which since the “Big FAQ” means we really want to fit a Battalion or two into our armies. The Tesla Immortals love being able to freely advance 6″ every turn and still sling their tesla shots. With MWBD, they end up scooting around the battlefield at a pretty absurd 12″ per turn while still shooting their tesla carbines at effective BS3 and with exploding 6s (thanks to the +1 MWBD negating the -1 to hit from advancing penalty). MSU is inherently discouraged when making necron lists, especially with troops, since it makes it a lot easier for our opponents to negate an aspect of our survivability (RP) – but having a few bite-sized Immortal units tearing around the battlefield at jet-bike speeds and grabbing objectives or screening/preventing deepstrikes is still incredibly useful, which makes the base 432 points feel like less of a “tax” to get those tasty 5 CP from the Battalion. Our Translocation Crypt destroyer unit also likes having access to the Overlord’s MWBD buff if they survive past the round they deploy on the table.


The Nephrekh Dynasty is very useful on the tabletop. In terms of what Detachments it should be used in, it strongly supports being used for Outrider detachments. Destroyers love using the unique Translocation Crypt stratagem, and wraiths and scarabs love having the consistent 6″ advance, especially since they can charge afterwards using their own unique stratagem. Putting the Solar Staff on a generic HQ is a flat out upgrade over a Staff of Light and can help support our melee-oriented units (even if they are in another detachment or Dynasty!). I  also see Nephrekh being chosen for Battalions, because having more mobile troops is great for objective grabbing and for closing the distance to get within our 24″ shooting band or 12″ rapid fire range. The Nephrekh Dynasty is arguably a core competitive Dynasty – you will very likely see competitive Necron tournament lists featuring at least one Nephrekh Detachment, even if it is only to get the Destroyers deployed in the translocation crypt. Being able to keep Destroyers safe and to allow for their precision application is just that good.

Stayed tuned for our next 8th Edition Celestial Orrery installments!

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



About Cyto

Believe those who are seeking the truth; Doubt and question those who have found it.
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4 years ago

My default dynasty. Mephrit is a trap.

4 years ago

Finally…this is what I wanted to see. Thank you! This is your best article on the Necron codex thus far. I was a bit dismayed with the last 2 to be honest as it didn’t seem to cover much. This one however gave a full detailed breakdown on an individual Dynasty which was solid from start to finish.

I have played a total of 3 games with the Necron codex thus far my current record is 2-1-0. Lost my first game (I ran an entire Nephrekh army) and I found that everything you wrote here is true. I didn’t think to use Destroyers sadly as I assumed they would be better off saved for a different Dynasty. But I did use the teleport stratagem on a 20-man unit of Warriors, and 2x 10-man units of Immortals with Gauss Blasters to put them into immediate deep strike range (I dont play with beta rules. Only official rules at our local scene). I ran a CCB with Lightning Field and another CCB with Solar Staff and Skin of Gold thinking “This will be great when he has to shoot me at a -2” then realize it doesn’t seem to carry over…also i lost because my army got assaulted by Custodes.

On that note…throughout my 3 games so far I find that C’tans are not worth it. They keep being underwhelming when it comes to unleashing their powers, surviving enemy firepower/assault or dealing damage in general. Typically they can do somewhere between 2-3 mortal wounds reliably and then in fight phase 4 attacks really don’t cut it, specially terrible against anything with an invulnerable save. I would appreciate an article relating to C’tans and other units that do not get Dynasties as I feel it’s difficult to gauge their usefulness. For example, Anrakyr the Traveller seems like a perfect fit for Novokh dynasties but are there other uses for him outside Novokh? What about Illuminor Szeras? The Nightbringer…can he ever be playable? etc etc

Anyway your article inspired me to go back and give Nephrekh another shot. I rebuilt my list to be :

Saukteh Dynasty Battalion
Imotekh the Stormlord (Warlord)
Illuminor Szeras
Orikan the Diviner

10-Immortals : Tesla Carbine
10-Immortals : Tesla Carbine

Nephrekh Outrider Detachment
CCB w/Lighting Field, ResOrb, Tesla Cannon
Cryptek w/Solar Staff, Chronometron

Fast Attack:
3-Canotek Wraiths

The idea is to teleport the destroyers and cryptek for turn 1 rapid fire and protection. The solar staff is also there to aid the advancing wraiths assault without being overwatched. The CCB with lightning field was the only thing that did well in the 1 game I lost, so I wanted to bring it back and get it into assault while being in the frontlines near the destroyers to grant MWBD (with pharohs will so both units can hit on 2s) and also res.orb the destroyers if needed.

The Stormlord I have yet to try out so thats why i wanted the main detachment to be Saukteh, He seems ideal for tesla immortals to MWBD both units all game long. Orikan i used yesterday and he was an all-star keeping my units safe with the 5+ inv with good range. Szeras I am trying out for the first time aswell trying to find places to fit him this seemed like a good one he can help keep the reanimation coverage while boosting all 3 troop units throughout the game looking to get +1 toughness or +1bs on the warriors might even spend cp to re-roll for it.

4 years ago
Reply to  Cyto

Lol realized I said rapid fire lol i was still thinking of the deep striking warriors/immortals trick. Yeah the destroyers want to arrive safely preferrably in cover.

So Res Orb isn’t worthwhile on non-destroyer units? To be honest I’ve been adding it into every list for the WYSIWIG aspect as I realize it’s hard to find a Necron Overlord or Lord that isn’t holding a res.orb but if it’s such a poor investment I may need to reconsider going wysiwig on those.

In my games it has been hit or miss. But I have found Enhanced Protocols 2cp to be even less worthwhile. Rerolling 1st on RP isn’t worth it. It would’ve been far better if it allowed you to pass RP on a +1 to stack with a cryptek.

I’m really looking forward to your next article.

4 years ago
Reply to  Akaiyou

The math on the “enhanced reanimation” roll is a pretty terrible investment of 2 CP. If you’re making, say, 18 rolls (which is an awfully rare occurrence and probably the outer limit of what you’d ever be called on to make), math says you’re rolling 3 1’s. At best, you’re getting 3 warriors back from the stratagem. Statistically speaking, 1.5 warriors, meaning just as likely to get 1 warrior back as it is to get 2 back.

4 years ago
Reply to  cayesq

Yeah, if you could pop the strat off after rolling (and thus seeing how many dice it would affect), that would be one matter, but as it stands it’s a pretty poor investment in almost all situations.

4 years ago
Reply to  Cyto

The math doesn’t really seem _that_ bad for it. If you are running large (15-20) units of Warriors, it seems like it should be fairly easy for it to come out a net positive- you only need to get three guys off of it. More importantly, it can help shore up the results of a poor RP roll on an important turn; if, say, you have that unit that is making 10+ resurrection rolls and fail most or all of them, a second chance on those dice can be a very big deal. Similarly, if zero models from your Destroyer unit come back, having the Orb there to retry seems like it would be extremely clutch- and that’s not going to be a particularly unlikely situation.

4 years ago
Reply to  Cyto

In those calculations you’re assuming that you get an average roll, though- and as people who play dice games, I think we all are highly aware that dice to not always hew to the expected value. As I said, it’s best used when it covers your ass on a bad RP roll for an important unit- whether that means bringing back 1-2 extra Destroyers on a clutch turn or 5-10 Warriors. And the beautiful thing about it is, the worse your luck is, the better the Rez Orb becomes.

That’s not to say I think they should be auto-includes in Necrons or anything, but if you’re running big blocks of Warriors, they feel like a fairly obvious choice, as they can’t be singled out the way a Ghost Ark can.

4 years ago
Reply to  Cyto

The rework 8th did to Necron RP makes it a secondary trait for Necrons. Even if we have pay for it with every unit, against any capable opponent you will not use it. Unlike Death Guard that will always have their 5+++ simply playing the game well against Necrons will mean you will not be rolling for RP at all.

Your opponent will shrug and say ok I have to kill 10 Marines to stop RP and you payed 17points a pop for them? OK. I just have to hug your units in melee to stop RP from going off? OK I was going to do that anyway.

RP in 8th is nothing to fear with the amount of fire power armies have now. In the end Necron troops are just over costed Scouts and Marines, they may have a bit more powerful gun with short range but a durable force you pay for they are not.

4 years ago
Reply to  Pyrothem

I find if you use full size units it comes in to play all the time. If you use MSU units it is a nice perk when it kicks in.

And a Warrior or Immortal really isn’t overpriced. An Immortal with the gun they’re toting, completely ignoring RP, is still solid. You are paying very little over a Marine for a much better weapon. Warriors are solid, too. My 20 strong units wreck things all the time.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x