When the Silent King first came out with the Necrons new Codex he was a staple in many army lists.
In a meta where only Space Marines and Necrons had 9th Edition books the Silent King’s 450 point price tag seemed expensive, but Necron players got a lot for this heavy points investment. As more 9th Edition Codexes released (Drukhari and Admech specifically) the Silent King saw a steep decline in play. The ability of Raider Dark Lances and Admech Ironstriders to make the Silent King ineffective after a single round of shooting made the big guy’s price tag a huge liability. However, currently some Necron players are putting the Silent King back into their Necron army lists, and these players are getting some solid results with the King.
The biggest draw to including the Silent King in a Necron army is the ability to score Code of Combat reliably. This Necron specific Secondary is an excellent third pick. By not being in the Battlefield Supremacy or Shadow Operations categories Code of Combat gives a Silent King Necrons army an extremely reliable third secondary. Mixing the King in with a completely ObSec army that can score things like Stranglehold and Raise Banners reliably gives Necron players a huge advantage over army lists that do not have three strong Secondaries picked before they roll up to the table.
The Silent King is a monster both at giving out powerful buffs to your army as well as at putting out solid amounts of shooting. Giving full re-rolls to hit in the Shooting Phase to Core and Pretorian units can be nasty with things like 20 Gauss Reaper Necron Warriors, and THEN giving that same unit full re-rolls to wound makes a block of 20 Necron Warriors truly scary in close combat. Not to mention the little buffs the King gives in the form of three extra Command Points, being able to double select a Command Protocol, allowing you to manipulate one Command Protocol you did not select, and being able to deny psychic powers are all excellent bonuses for taking the Silent King.
Drukhari and Admech shooting haven’t gone anywhere, and some other armies have teched hard into the first turn alpha strike meta that is unfortunately a consequence of some over tuned Codexes. If your local tournament scene plays on tables with not enough terrain the Silent King is going to have a bad time. Actually, if your local tournament scene is playing without enough terrain you are already having a bad time as a Necron player, so why not give the Silent King a try and see how many 4+ invulnerable saves you can make?
The Silent King is tough, and he can take some serious firepower to take down, but your opponent doesn’t need to remove the King from the table to make him a waste of 450pts. After causing 10 wounds the King’s little shooting towers are gone, and then the King himself degrades from there. There is a steep decline in power for a Silent King at full wounds to one who is barely hanging on and lost almost all of the offensive output on his datasheet. Just remember Necron’s do have the stratagem to have a Vehicle act at their full profile for 1CP. Definitely worth it when fighting with a wounded Silent King.
The Silent King is not worth his 450pts price tag. Very little in the Necrons Codex seems worth it’s points cost, and the Silent King is no exception. Necrons are already an army that is struggling to put together a decent army list due to many things in the Codex (mainly the Characters) being slightly over costed. Throwing in a 450pts giant target into your army list might let you win some games through scoring Code of Combat reliably, but it just as easily could end with the Silent King getting shot off the board Turn 2.
It is very interesting that the Silent King is making a come back into Necron army lists that are doing well at some larger tournaments. I believe the big guy found his way back into army lists mainly as a way to score some reliable Code of Combat points, and struggle to see how the investment is worth the cost. I have a Major coming up in a couple weeks where I will not be including the Silent King in my list, so we will get to see if I was right or if the better players who actually place well saw something I did not (definitely they didn’t).