Chaos Knights Codex Review – LoW: Knight Desecrator

Hey everyone, Danny from TFG Radio here, and today, let’s look at the one brand new kit for the Chaos Knights release, the task master, the Knight Desecrator. It is a bit of a one trick pony, but if that’s the trick you need, then here it is. Also, it’s how you get the cool spikey pieces for your army.  If you want to expand your knowledge, you should definitely be checking out Frontline’s Tactics Corner.

Primary Weapons:

  • Laser Destructor – Range 60” Heavy D3 S14 AP-4 Dd6. On a wound roll of 6+, deals d3 mortal wounds in addition to any damage.
  • Reaper Chainsword – S14 AP-3 D6 melee weapon. May replace with Thunderstrike Gauntlet.
  • Thunderstrike Gauntlet – S16 AP-4 D6 melee weapon. -1 to hit rolls, and if you destroy a vehicle/monster with it, on a 4+, an enemy unit within 9” takes d3 mortal wounds.
  • Titanic Feet – S8 AP-2 Dd3 melee weapon. Make 3 attack rolls per attack.

Minor Weapons:

  • Heavy Stubber – Range 36” Heavy 3 S4 AP0 D1 gun.


  • Ion Shield – 5++ Invulnerable save against ranged attacks.
  • Explodes – When this model dies, roll a D6. On a 6, it explodes and each unit within 2d6” suffers d6 mortal wounds.
  • Super-Heavy Walker – This model can shoot and charge after it Falls Back. When Falling Back, it can move across enemy INFANTRY models and SWARM models as if they were not there, but must end its move 1” away from enemy models. This model does not suffer the penalty for moving and firing Heavy Weapons. This model does not receive the benefit of cover to its saving throws unless at least half of the model is obscured.
  • Task Master – When within 6” of the Desecrator, friendly <HOUSE> War Dogs reroll 1s to hit.

So the Desecrator is likely the one Knight that you won’t see too much of, but it does have a specific move that could useful to you, depending on the rest of your army.  The Desecrator is one of the longer ranged knights with a gun that can do big, big damage at range thanks to AP-4.  Really, what you want with this is the relic Destructor, the Diamonas, which is Heavy 3 and S16, plus you still get all of the other rules like AP-4 and the chance at mortal wounds.   This is really the most optimal way to run a Desecrator, a backfield heavy armor sniper that stays back, puts out 3 big shots that can do real pain if they land, and if it survives to late game, moves forward to get into the scrum.  To dedicate to this, make the Desecrator a dreadblade for Path to Glory, and now you are rerolling to hit against Titans and Characters, and then make it Iconoclast for Vow of Beastslayer for reroll 1s to wound against anything with 8 or more wounds, and boom, you have a decent AT threat that can hide in a corner or the backfield and put some big shots into any heavy armor that your opponent brings, most especially other Knights or big scary characters like Magnus/Mortarion, all while not needing any CP for rerolls.  It also doesn’t require any CP investment outside of the initial relic purchase and Vow of Beastslayer (if you didn’t make it your WL and give it a free relic). And well, if going against a horde army with no real heavy threats, just send it forward to get some stomps in, and maybe spend the 2 CP to blow it up when it dies.

Going with this sniper build, which I like it call The Diamonas (since it only works with the relic), you can either take it in its own detachment since it doesn’t particularly hum any better with either Ambition, but if you want the Ambition, 2 War Dogs do pair nicely.  The reroll 1s to hit works best for the shooty War Dogs with the Diamonas as you want to utilize your range, so either the Autocannons or some of those nifty Moirax War Dogs (whenever they come out).  2 Autocannon War Dogs and the Diamonas can be a decent backfield contingent for a melee focused main force as the three working together are likely to take big bites out of just about any Non-Supersonic heavy target.  Once the Moirax War Dogs are out, I could see going Infernal more for T9 when you need it but also for the C-Beam War Dogs as juicing up those guns can pay big dividends on the turn that you need as much punch as possible.  All told, this is about 750 points though, but if you want to run a heavy, heavy melee threat that is going to push forward, this can be what holds the fort down, and well, it is a still 24 T8 5++ wounds to deal with backed by 24 T7 5++ wounds.

So why would you take a Diamonas Desecrator over another long range Knight like the Double Battle Cannon? Well, the Diamonas is about 80 points cheaper, give or take, so there’s that.  Second, the Diamonas is better at killing at T8 models without an invulnerable save like tanks.  Against a T8, non-Titanic model with a 3+ armor save, a Desecrator with Diamonas does 7.36 wounds vs 4.71 from a DubBC.  That is certainly much more average efficiency (and remember, averages don’t feel average some games) against that specific target. Against a T8, Titanic model with a 4++, a Desecrator does 4.89 wounds vs 4.68 by the DubBC. So here, there is not that much difference in averages, but as the Diamonas is cheaper, that seems like a win for it.  Against a T7 target, like Mortarion, a Desecrator does 3.38 wounds, and the DubBC does 4.20 wounds.  This where we see the drop off.

The Diamonas is best against T8, but the DubBC, thanks to its volume of fire, starts to edge it out once the toughness of the target drops to 7 and below.  Of course, just on the math against the newest book out, Primaris Marines, a Desecrator only does 7.32 wounds (but realistically, only does 4 as you are probably only killing 2 unless all 3 hit or you roll damn well on the mortal wounds). A DubBC does 7.82 on average, but again, in practical application, you can actually kill 3-4 on average dice.   So the DubBC has a much wider range of targets that it is effective against.  I did all these numbers built on the Diamonas pattern above, and just a stock DubBC, so a DubBC will actually perform better than these numbers if you give it all the same buffs, namely Path to Glory and Vow of Beastslayer.  Is that extra flexibility worth 80 points? I would say yes unless you are positive that you are going against Iron Hands with a ton of T8 vehicles.

What about the Double Melta Despoiler? Let’s run a few numbers real quick. The Diamonas pattern versus a stock DubM outside of 18”.  Against the Tank (T8, non-titanic, 3+ armor, no invul), Diamonas does 7.36 versus 10.99 from the DubM. Against the Knight profile, Diamonas does 4.89 vs 5.49 for the DubM.  So the DubM is a superior armor killer (at less range) than the Diamonas for 20 points less. Is 20 points more worth a higher range and less average kill power? Probably not outside of very specific matchups. Don’t forget that any Despoiler can take carapace weapons for even more ranged threat while a Desecrator cannot.

So yah, let’s  face the truth: This kit doesn’t do enough. At range, with Diamonas, the Desecrator can do work, but that’s a big “can”, not that it “will”. It is cheaper than most other Knights, but still, it is a lot of points in a low efficiency model.  You are getting 3 shots at range, and that’s it, so if you have no good targets, it really does feel like a waste, and while it can stomp against hordes, a melee Despoiler does that better for cheaper.  If you need heavy armor killing, a DubM is cheaper and better at it, granted at a shorter range.  If you want tactical flexibility and the ability to take on multiple threats, a DubBC is the way to go for both AT and AP roles with a longer range.  Yes, the Desecrator does buff War Dogs a bit, but really, not enough for the trio to be that useful.  Even if you are going a full melee horde, you will get more mileage out of 2 fighty War Dogs and a DubM than you would a Desecrator, and for about 40 points less. The Desecrator is a cool kit and it gets you the Chaosy-Knight, but really, the best part of it is that you get the cool carapace and spikes from the model, not to mention the cool Reaper Chainsaw. Even then, you need to buy a Desecrator kit and an Imperial kit to get all the options for a Despoiler (and have it look properly chaosy).

20/100 – This dog won’t hunt sadly. The Diamonas pattern can do some work in specific matchups, but it is outshined by other options.  Thanks as always for reading, and you know, that almost wraps up the codex, and we can start looking ahead to the Forgeworld goodness out there. Remember: the SoCal Open is coming up fast, so be painting, be practicing, and be ready.

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




About Danny Ruiz

Long-long time 40K player, one of the original triumvirate of head 40K judges at LVO, writer, educator, tyranid-enthusiast, disciple of Angron, man about town, afflicted with faction ADD.

One Response to “Chaos Knights Codex Review – LoW: Knight Desecrator”

  1. Avatar
    Nick Wenker September 15, 2019 6:31 am #

    The Desecrator is the biggest rules disappointment I’ve seen in a long time, which is crazy considering it’s supposed to be the fancy new kit for a whole new codex. It’s unbelievable that it’s not good even if you burn a valuable relic slot. Such a shame considering I love wardogs and would love the reroll 1s.

    Really, the base gun should have been 3 shots and the relic gun should have been 6. People might actually consider it at that point. My wish is for an errata for the base gun and the relic, or a big points drop, but I’m not holding my breath for GW.

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