Genestealer Cults Review: HQ: Magus

Hi everyone, Michael here with a review of one of the psykers of the Genestealer Cults army, the Magus. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.

Overview:

The Magus is one of two psykers available to the Genestealer Cults army. This is the cheaper of the options, providing you with a reasonable way of getting more of the awesome Broodmind psychic powers into play, as well as providing some nice psychic defence for nearby units. The Magus costs 80 pts, with the option of adding up to two Familiars for 12 pts each.

I would rate the Magus as Efficient. He is pretty expensive for a psyker that can cast and deny one power. However, the Broodmind powers add a lot to the Genestealer Cults army, and can add some important psychic defence for nearby enemy units, though you have to get in close to use his abilities to the best. Though he is a useful addition to the force, I wouldn’t say he is an essential element of the army.

Wargear:

  • Autopistol
  • Cultist Knife
  • Force Stave- +2S, AP-1, D3 damage.
  • May take up to two Familiars.

Abilities:

  • Cult Ambush
  • Unquestioning Loyalty
  • Spiritual Leader- <Cult> units (other than Psykers) that are within 6″ of the Magus at the start of your opponent’s psychic phase may attempt to deny one psychic power manifested within 12″ of the unit in that phase, as if they were themselves a psyker.
  • Familiars- If a Magus is accompanied by any Familiars, then once per game, at the end of the controlling player’s psychic phase, its Familiar can lend it additional power. If they do so, the Magus can immediately attempt to manifest one additional psychic power.

Tactics:

The Magus has a reasonable statline for a mid-level character. He has WS and BS 3+, strength and toughness 3, four wounds, 3 attacks, Ld 8 and a 5+ save. His Force Stave gives him some reasonable potency in combat, bu the is not going to go toe to toe with many combat units or characters very easily. His durability is reasonable thanks to the bonus of Unquestioning Loyalty, but it is not going to take much to take out.

The real strength of the Magus comes from his psychic abilities. The Broodmind Discipline is a very powerful set of psychic powers to boost the army. Check out the review for more details o the strength of these powers.

This discipline gives him a number of ways to boost the effectiveness of nearby units. Mass Hypnosis is great for shutting down enemy overwatch and making it harder for enemy units to hit your units. This allows the Magus to accompany your units arriving from Cult Ambush and protecting them from enemy overwatch.

He can also buff them with Might From Beyond, improving the combat ability of a number of key Cult units in the fight phase.

The Magus also boosts the psychic defensive capabilities of the Cult. He allows nearby units to attempt to Deny the Witch against powers manifested within 12″ of the unit. This gives you many more opportunities to block enemy psychic powers, for as many units as you have in range of the Magus and psyker attempting to manifest the power. The relative short range of the Deny means that this will not always be an option if your opponent keeps the psyker out of range of the unit, but it can really help to boost your ability to shut down enemy psychic powers in certain situations.

The Familiars are also a useful upgrade if you have the points to spare. These allow you to use additional psychic powers in your turn, as well as providing ablative wounds for the Magus, once you have used up their abilities.

Relics

There are a few Relics that are of use to the Magus.

If you have the Rusted Claw Cult Creed, the Metallophagic Stave can be an option for your Primus. This gives the Magus +2S, AP-5 and D3 damage. In addition, each time you roll a wound roll of 4+ against a vehicle, it suffers 1 mortal wound. If you roll a 6+, you do D3 mortal wounds in addition to normal damage. This is a reasonable upgrade for the Magus, but there are more useful Relics to take in the army, and I am not sure it is worth the extra CP to take it.

The Crouchling is a better option, in my opinion. This takes the place of a Familiar, giving you +1 to manifest powers from the Broodmind Discipline, as well as allowing you to know one extra power. This gives you more options for picking powers that will help the Cult, as well as making those powers easier to cast.

Warlord Traits

I generally wouldn’t make the Magus a warlord, but you can access a warlord trait for the Magus through the Broodcoven stratagem. There are a number of useful traits to boost the abilities of the Magus.

One of my favourite choices is Inscrutable Cunning for Cult of the Four-Armed Emperor. This gives you an additional D3 CP and an extra re-roll for selected rolls. I find this makes a useful third trait for the Magus, allowing him to contribute to the army.

Alien Majesty can also be useful if you are facing a psychic-heavy army. This can boost the range and number of units that can benefit from his Spiritual Leader ability, helping you to block enemy psychic powers. I would tend to save this trait for the more valuable abilities of the Primus or Patriarch, but it is worth bearing in mind.

Overall

The Magus is a useful psyker to include in the Genestealer Cults army. If you have the points to spare, one or two of these characters will be able to take powers to greatly help your forces. However, if you don’t have the points to spare, the Patriarch can provide this role, as well as a tougher combat character for your force.

 

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About Michael Corr

An avid 40k player and blogger from Scotland. I started in 3rd edition and have been playing ever since. I detail my adventures in my own blog "St Andrews Wargaming", highlighting my mediocre painting skills, regular battle reports and my occasional random ramblings.

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