40K: The Future of Magnus

Magnus is getting some changes in the new Thousand Sons book – let’s take a stab at a few.

Games Workshop surprised everyone by having a game of Adeptus Custodes vs Thousand Sons on their Twitch Stream. We got a list of things they revealed but we know there were more changes that weren’t explicitly stated. After-all, they were showing off the Adeptus Custodes with a heavy focus on them and not on the new Thousand Sons! But with that said, we’ve got an idea of things that are going to be changing for Magnus from the stream. Let’s talk:

Magnus The Red (Index: Chaos)

Confirmed Changes

Primarch of the Thousand Sons –  we know that the rules for that have changed. The “re-roll invulnerable saving throws of 1” has been completely removed. The re-roll hit rolls of 1 is still in however. We’re also pretty sure we saw some re-rolls during the Psychic Phase of 1 as well.

Gaze of Magnus: We know he’s still tossing out a meaner version of Smite as well.

Psychic Powers: He’s still chucking out at least 3 powers a turn and can attempt to deny 3 powers (they didn’t show him denying powers, as he was fighting Adeptus Custodes, but we’re pretty sure that was mentioned at some point).

Psychic Phase Bonus: Just like last time, he’s still going to get a bonus to casting psychics based on his remaining wounds – that chart is pretty much the same.

Stat-line: From the sound of things on the stream, it didn’t look like Magnus’ stat-line had any changes, either.

Unconfirmed Changes

Magnus Points Increase – after doing some “back-of-the-napkin” math based on previous points (and the models used in the stream), we think that Magnus is going to cost more points than previously. Currently he sits at 415 and we think he’s going to be up closer to the 450 range.

Power Level Increase – Again, based on the units on the table and some rough estimates, we’re also pretty sure he’s going to cost more in Power Level as well. But we’re thinking only a couple (1-2) points increase.

Crown of the Crimson King – We think that this will still provide the 4+ invulnerable save, but we think it’s going to offer some sort of Psychic Protection as well. Perhaps protection vs Perils or something similar.

Magnus has been a big deal in the meta for over a year now. He’s made his presence felt on the tabletop and he’s certainly a fantastic model to have as your centerpiece also. But we also think it’s about time to see his points shift up to be more inline with what he’s bringing as a force multiplier. We’re also glad to see the “Re-roll invulnerable saves of 1” go away as it made him tougher than he needed to be. Here’s hoping GW has found a good balance between his Power Level/Points and his abilities. We like that Thousand Sons players have him as an option, but we also hope some of these changes make him less of an “auto-include” and more of a “also ran” option.


Are you looking forward to Magnus’ Rules changes? Did you catch any other ones from the stream?

  • Lux

    So far that’s a big nerf to the Changeling and a substantial nerf to Magnus. Ugh.

    • Tirelion

      I said they wouldn’t be happy until he was so easy to kill that he’d be unplayable. He already gets nuked turn one.

      • Koonitz

        Maybe we’ll finally see some Thousand Sons batreps without Magnus in it, then.

        ’cause sweet mercy, they get boring real fast.

        • Muninwing

          welcome to 8th…

          add stepped-up area effects and increased effectiveness of killing models, in an effort to get faster games, and you get auto-includes turned up and games looking very similar.

          remember the complaints about Warmachine a few years back? 3/4 of armies were Khador, and looked identical. is that really the ideal that GW wants for their game?

      • Rob brown

        Why do you deploy him turn one so he can be shot by everyone in your opponents army?

        I mean it takes 10 leman Russ battle tanks firing twice to see him off? Why isn’t he hidden from at least a part of the enemy?

        • Fenix Dargon

          Because hes too big to hide behind most terrain.

          • Witch Beatrice

            For that reason i only prefer to fight on “Cities of Death” style tables with tall official GW Buildings providing at least 25% cover to winged creatures like Flying Tyrants and Harpies. Forest, Desert, Grassy Fields, all provide no cover at all to either side unless there are huge foam rocks or styrafome mountains blocking LOS. It is a difficult thing to claim popsicle stick fences as cover as the entire unit needs to be in terrain to gain a cover bonus sometimes.

      • Muninwing

        if he gets nuked in turn one, just like anything of his size should, then he needs to play like that.

        he needs to do more damage than he’s worth, draw fire and save more models than he’s worth by being a target. that is what makes him worth his points.

        that’s no different than any other big scary thing.

        making him able to live to turn 2-3 when a baneblade, knight, or other big model dies for comparable points is the real imbalance.

  • Grandfathernurglescleanbrother

    So no Daemon Primarch should not be an auto include but everyone’s cool with the big G.

    • Drpx

      At 500 pts and 11 wounds he’d still be an auto include.

      • Stephen Henry IV

        I think increasing him to 10 wounds and 395-400 points will be enough. Then he’ll be able to be targeted turn 1 and he still has all his amazing saves, but at least he won’t be impossible to even target.

      • Sweet Tender

        yes and a dead piece turn 1 against some top armies, so yes please play a 500pts 11 wounds Girlyman…

        • Drpx


    • Rob brown

      No, not everyone is cool with the big G. I wouldn’t play against people who inist on using a primarch in every game. I said change the record. If the player can only work Ultramarines with Bobby then I’d suggest they alternate with a different army to reduce the yawn.

      • Ben Smith

        If they do Russ he will be an auto include because he is Russ. If I insist on using a primarch every game it isn’t necessarily because it’s a crutch. Some people just like the primarchs from the fluff.

        • Rob brown

          You can like a primarch without using them in every game you play.

          I’m just saying there is a social mechanic to prevent these things happening. However us gamers aren’t always very good at having an honest conversation in a tactful way.

          • frank

            If I spent 130$ on one mini you can bet id be using it for at least the next 18 out of 20 games I played.

      • Muninwing

        i kinda wish LoW were 2500+ points only… and not viable or include-able unless you met certain requirements.

        they’re just too common right now.

        • Rob brown

          I really do think the old Escalation rules had it right. They recognized that Lords if War were something a lot of armies couldn’t cope with without planning in advance (if at all) and added compensations to armies without them.

          At the very least in normal games players should have to give up at least one relic slot to use these guys that effectively have multiple relics each.

    • Troy G

      I think most people aren’t OK with any of the primarchs being auto include.

      Personally, my least favorite part of 40K is the existence of Primarchs in the matched play meta. But if they are going to be there, my #1 wish is that they get their points adjusted to be more in line with their abilities.

      • Muninwing

        yeah… the Primarchs as characters in legend were a cool device.

        the Primarchs on the table are kinda lame.

        it’s like if King Arthur and his Knights were suddenly popping up in WWI trench battles. weird… and after the initial moment of bizarre cool, their novelty wears off and all the mystery is gone.

    • Witch Beatrice

      I know how you feel – a 300 point Tyranid Swarmlord despite the powerhouse he could potentially be has no aura of buffing to nearby units nor can he avoid being targeted despite being a character and he certainly could not go one on one against Daddy G who might actuallly revive from the dead even though the swarmlord is naturally eternal… Making a second unit move twice is a cute trick but is not as good as rerolling and reviving…

  • Drpx

    Why is it that whenever something gets nerfed or changed so you can’t use it a particular way, the excuse is always, “to give you more

    • Jose Luis Camarasa

      Well, you don’t have many options when that something is mandatory you know

      • Drpx

        Where does it say he’s mandatory? Besides the net list forums I mean.

        • Witch Beatrice

          Doesn’t TS have like very few units to choose from in the first place if you want to keep the detachment a pure TS? Theres those rotary gatling terminators, those sigmar Thangors sword goats, sorcerers on discs, rubric marines and Master Maggy ? I’m missing a few but still thats not a lot of options so your few options better be hard hitting or survivable.

    • Scott Resnick

      Because of opportunity cost.

      if something is so good (like when you just said RG is auto-include, above), then that’s not an option anymore. It’s automatic. It’s 500 point that are locked in.

      By making something weaker so it’s still viable, BUT you now actually have to decide if there’s something else worth the points, there are now options.

      • Drpx

        But those options were always there.

        • Scott Resnick

          YOU said it was mandatory above.

          If it’s mandatory, the other options don’t count.

          If you make them worse, now you might look at the other options.

          If you were saying the options were already terrible, that’s one thing. But if the options were already there and they were ‘good but not as good as something that’s auto-include’, they’re not real options.

          • Drpx

            Nobody is forcing you to take him or Bobby G. Calling something mandatory or auto include is tourneybro speak for the meta.

    • Grandfathernurglescleanbrother

      And they take the nerf bat to something that didn’t need it. I have seen a couple battles in our local group…I would say 80% of the time he doesn’t even come close to making his points back. He disappears faster then my Morty does

  • MarcoT

    Re-rolls 1’s on the inv saves are fine, but become annoying when 3++ becomes an option

    • SinisterTofu

      Still gotta cast for that 3++ and considering this meta is weight of fire/numbers, a monstrous tends to die due to all the firepower that can be on table. Guilliman’s 3++ is built in, comes with a rez upon death aaaand he can only be targeted by non-snipers unless he is closest. I feel like this is just marketing to push players back towards imperial by putting the Chaos tax.

      • Grandfathernurglescleanbrother

        Don’t forget about the body guards. When you finally get through the saves of G he can pass it

      • Drpx

        Nah, they just don’t want 1k sons players to say, “thanks for the new codex/units but I already have everything I need” as was the case Ynnari when the craftworld codex dropped.

        • Neil Burns

          Hey, they didn’t say that, I’m sure everyone didn’t have 20+ Dark Reapers, lol.

          • Drpx

            GW sure didn’t.

        • John Burns

          Ermmm bodyguards intercept wounds before saves if I’m not mistaken… your opponent doesn’t get to use guilliman saves THEN pass wounds off…

      • Neil Burns

        Casting on a +2, with rerolls, and a +2 strat? Yeah, that powers going off. Bobby needs to lose either the 3++, or the auto rez, and shouldn’t have that thing period.

      • MarcoT

        So Guilliman is even worse, how does that excuse other primarchs from being annoying to play against?
        Since you can now put Magnus in the webway portal he should be able to make an impression before dying.

        • Brad Parks

          I keep seeing this. Webway Portal is infantry only, Magnus is not infantry.

          • MarcoT


  • Bootneck

    I love these kinds of articles because a unit which was previously very good gets a possible balance and its immediately you can sense the fear it puts into people.

    Its unlikely GW will gimp an £80 kit which would likely kill any future sales.

    • Frank O’Donnell

      Might be that they’ve sold so many that they don’t see a lot more been sold, so make him useless & sell lots more of something else, it’s work for GW since they started so why change it now ? 🙂

      • Muninwing

        but he’s not “useless”

        he’s just not stupid imbalanced.

        big difference.

  • Jack

    I wonder if they’d ever make it so that if a character with more than 10 wounds goes below a certain amount of wounds, they are treated as a lower wound character and thus cannot be targeted if they are not the closest unit. That could possibly stop 1st round slaughter

    • NNextremNN

      The Idea is that characters with so many wounds are so big that they can’t hide they don’t suddenly shrink and become harder visible because they are hurt.

  • Jason Bingham

    Yes, Magnus emits an aura of re-roll 1s for psychic tests as well….

  • Sweet Tender

    remove the 1’s re roll= dead Magnus