Through the latest balance update the Necrons Codex received the benefit of gaining the Core keyword on more units than originally were labeled as Core in the actual Codex.
When this book came out it was obvious that the lack of Core keyword would make the aura buffs and stratagems very restricted, but now Necron players basically have a new armies worth of experimentation they can look forward to when building their army lists. Now just giving the Core keyword to these units isn’t going to propel the Necrons to the top of the meta, some of their units are just too over-costed for anything but the arrival of the next Chapter Approved to fully fix the issues inside the Codex. Some units, however, gained much more than others from gaining the Core key word, and should be immediately reevaluated by Necron players when building a competitive list. Skorpekh* Destroyers are at the top of the list of Necron units that improve by gaining the Core keyword.
Skorpekhs were already a good unit without the Core keyword. With their Hardwired For Destruction rule they were a unit that put out a respectable amount of close combat attacks, re-rolled their own 1’s to hit, and were reasonably durable with a lucky Reanimation Protocols roll or by using the Whirling Blades stratagem. By gaining the Core keyword the durability and lethality of this unit has gone through the roof. Below is a list of buffs/stratagems that can now be used on Core Skorpekhs:
My Will Be Done:
This may be the most obvious statement I have ever written, but a close combat unit hitting on 2’s re-rolling 1’s is excellent. A unit of 6 Skorpekhs puts out 16 S5 AP2 D2 attacks AND 6 S7 AP4 D3 attacks, or give them the Plasmacyte buff and those attacks go up to 20 and 8 respectively. By giving them My Will Be Done virtually all of these attacks are going to hit their target after re-rolling 1’s. If only there was a way to up their S stat through another Core buff….
1CP gets you +1 S on a Core unit. Now all those Skorpekh attacks that hit are coming in at S6 and S8, or with a Plasmacyte their attacks go up to S7 and S9!
The Silent King:
If your Skorpekhs happen to be within 6 inches of the Silent King they are now also getting to re-roll all failed wounds in the Fight Phase. Hitting on 2s, re-rolling 1s to hit, and re-rolling all failed wounds makes a unit of Skorpekhs capable of deleted almost any unit in the game right off the board. Now this combination may not always be worth it as the Silent King is 450 points and those Skorpekhs will cost 210 points. Some ways to help the durability of this unit would absolutely be helpful….
The Rites of Reanimation ability from a Technomancer can now bring back one slain Skorpekh Destroyer during the Command Phase. Bringing back 35 point models for free just by taking a Character in your army and standing in the right spot seems like a no brainer, but with the Necrons durability through Reanimation Protocols the Technomancer’s chance to keep adding slain models back to a unit of Skorpekhs that wasn’t completely wiped out is extremely high.
Speaking of Crypteks, now there is reason to take one of their silly Cryptek Arcana upgrades. This specific upgrade does cost 25 points, which is pricey, but it gives out Light Cover to a Core unit near the Cryptek. The biggest weakness of the Skorpekh Destroyers was their 3+ save, and pumping this up to 2+ for just 25 points means you can save some precious points during list building by not automatically taking a Chronomancer with your Skorpekhs. Your opponent is going to need to shoot AP4 guns into Skorpekhs just to get them past a 5+ save, and by using Whirling Blades for -1 to Wound the Skorpekhs they become and extremely tough unit to get rid of.
At a Movement of 8 inches the Skorpekhs were never slow, but now they can benefit from a Lord’s +1 to Move aura giving them Movement 9. Add in the Protocol of the Sudden Storm and a 6 inch pre-game move from Relentlessly Expansionist, and you have Skorpekhs that can move 16 inches on the first turn of the game. Keep in mind shooting this unit into your opponent’s army Turn 1 won’t always be the best call if your opponent deploys wisely, or screens using less important units at the front of their deployment zone.
Necron players know we don’t have the best Warlord Traits, but now this one isn’t just for Novok Warriors! Re-rolling to charge for Core units around you Warlord isn’t terrible, and could save some CP during a game. If you aren’t taking Enduring Will on a Catacomb Command Barge you may as well take this.
With the Core keyword Skorpekh Destroyers become a completely new unit. They are faster, more durable, and hit harder in close combat through Core Keyword buffing aura and stratagems. Skorpeks were good before, but fell out of favor in many competitive Necron army lists due to the high points cost of Necron army building. With these new buffs it is impossible to ignore the Skorpekh Destroyers when making a serious Necron army, but there still is the problem of what to take around them to ensure your army can stay on the board long enough to score points and let the Skorpekhs do to the killing. If only there was a fast, and durable, unit that just got the Core Keyword also….
*I just had to go back and add an “H” to the end of Skorpekh in this entire article…..GW please start spelling things to make it easier for us 40k writers!