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Warhammer 40K Tactics: Chaos Questoris Knight-Magaera

7 Minute Read
Nov 19 2019

Let’s talk about the super-tesla toting Knight that loves them sixes, the Questoris Knight-Magaera!

Danny from TFG Radio here,

Chaos Magaera Basics

Primary Weapons:

  • Lightning Cannon – Range 48” Heavy 6 S7 AP-2 D3. An unmodified hit roll of 6 scores 2 additional hits.
  • Hekaton Siege Claw – S16 AP-4 D6 melee weapon. -1 to hit, and against VEHICLES or TITANIC unit, add 2 to the damage.
  • Reaper Chainsword – S14 AP-3 D6 melee weapon.  May replace with a Hekaton Siege Claw.
  • Titanic Feet – S8 AP-2 Dd3 melee weapon. Make 3 to hit rolls per attack

Minor Weapons:

  • Phased plasma-fusil – Range 24” Rapid Fire 2 S7 AP-3 D2
  • Twin Rad Cleanser – Range 9” Assault 2d6 S2 AP0 D3. This weapon hits automatically. This weapon wounds on a 2+ except against VEHICLES or TITANIC.  Comes Paired with a Hekaton Siege Claw

Special Rules:

  • Ionic Flare Shield – This model has a 5++ invulnerable save.
  • Empyreal Preysight – This model’s attacks ignore cover.
  • 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.

Fielding the Chaos Knight Magaera

The Magaera is designed to be a multi-threat attacker that leverages a bit of shoot and a bit of fight to be more of a toolbox style piece.  As it is not Cerastus, you have the standard Knight profile of T8 with 24 wounds, but a big difference here is a flat 5++ rather than an Ion shield.  This does make the Magaera more resilient in close combat as there are plenty of melee threats out there with AP-4 or better.   As a shooting platform, the Magaera has a lot of decent damage, relatively low rate of fire weapons that are best at taking down elite infantry squads or lighter vehicles.  The Lightning Cannon can go hot thanks to the Tesla rule, and at S7 AP-2 and D3, that is a flat out murdered Aggressor or Bullgryn per failed save.  That’s not bad.  The Plasma-fusil also hits relatively hard with even better AP.  Of course, the Rad-Cleaner is also really excellent at forcing a lot of saves, and really, it also provides great overwatch protection as few multi-wound units want to risk rolling a 1 or 2 and suddenly taking 3 damage per failed save.  Against things like Smash Captains, two failed saves can mean one dead marine. There isn’t a huge volume of fire here though all told, but the fact that the Magaera ignores cover gets the most out of its shooting, making AP-2 and AP-3 much stronger.  Even the Rad-Cleanser can do work against standard 3+ armor saves as without cover, your opponent is likely not getting that sweet, sweet 2+.

In melee, a Magaera is really a standard Knight with either the more accurate Reaper chainsword or the less accurate but far deadlier claw.  You always have happy feet, so really, the difference here is how you want to build the Magaera.  If you take the Reaper chainsword, you lose the rad-cleansers, which really helps the Magaera in terms of overall threat volume, but if you do decide to do such, you can give The Teeth That Hungers to get it up to S16 AP-4 D6 without the penalty to hit and with a bonus attack.  That’s not bad and it is 25 points cheaper. If you are taking the Claw, which really is for the Rad-Cleanser, then Dreadblading is the wisest choice as you want Path to Glory for rerolls against Titanic targets and Characters, which helps take the sting out of essentially WS 4+.


Ambition here has plays depending your play style.  Infernal is always riskier, but it does give you a chance to make the Lightning Cannon a monster of a weapon.  Charging it up to S8 and D4 lets it threaten just about anything shy of another Titan, and it means killing a Centurion per failed save, and since the Magaera ignores cover, that means half of the Centurions you wound are going to die.   If you are going to commit to this, then it is always a good idea to pop Trail of Destruction to get reroll hits, and then go fishing for 6s as the more the Lightning Cannon goes off, the more value you are getting.  As the Magaera is multi-threat, you can also charge up for Speed to get into the scrum when and where you need to.

Iconoclast is consistent results with +1 attack and +1 AP, so even the Reaper chainsword becomes pretty fearsome with 5 attacks at AP-4.  Iconoclast also boosts those dancing shoes, and 15 S8 AP-3 Dd3 attack is certainly better than 12 S8 AP-2 Dd3 attacks. Iconoclast also gets you access to the Vows, namely Vow of Carnage for +1 attack for every 10 models destroyed or Vow of Dominance for a lot more survivability.  If you are using the Claw, Vow of Carnage can be worth it as between 6 Lightning Cannon shots, up to 4 Plasma shots, and then 2d6 Rad-Cleanser shots, you can kill 10 models a turn at close range.  After a turn or 2 of that, the Magaera becomes a pretty scary melee threat with a ton of attacks on the charge, so either a ton more stomps or some real big hits with the Claw, and even attacks where you can deal with missing half of them.

Dreadblading again comes down to preference and style.  Path to Glory is great if you have the Claw as getting to reroll hits against Titanics is super useful.  Daemonic Vigor is always good as extra movement doesn’t hurt and getting WS 2+ makes the Claw more reliable and the stomps scary, and of course, if you get BS 2+, all the better.  If you are going against a horde army, Galvanized Hull is money, especially combined with Nurgle’s Plate to really be a nasty bulwark against the masses.  Really, there are better choices for the Ambition-only relics that do not allow for Dreadblades, so it is not a bad idea to use the Magaera as the Dreadblade at all.


The Cons…are Many

What really makes the Magaera not so great is its cost and its reliance on skewed dice.  The Magaera is expensive for what it is. With a Claw and Rad-cleanser, you are looking at 525 points, that’s more than a Double-Gatling or Double-Battle-cannon Despoiler with Missile Pod.  That is a lot of points in a model that doesn’t fight much better, if at all better, than any other option save for the dedicated shooting platforms, and it doesn’t shoot all that well compared to others.  Within 9”, you are getting 6 shots of Lightning, 4 shots of Plasma, and 2d6 shots of Rad.  Going with averages, that’s a total of 6 hits from Lightning, 7 from the Rad, and 2.68 from the Plasma.  That’s not that many hits all told, especially not for 525 points.  With the Rad-Cleanser, you are relying on failed saves, so against anything where D3 is actually super useful, you are relying on a lot of 1s or 2s at best, and again, that’s putting your hope in dice, which is a quick way to lose a game.  Throw all of this on the fact that the Magaera is a close-quarter fighter as you need to be within 9” to get the most out of its shooting, and well, that means you are likely going to take some big counter-punches, and the 5++ is only going so far, especially against the usual super-threats out there like melee characters, Centurions, and the like.  Finally, you still have to deal with the usual Knight problems of terrain and positioning while also giving up easy secondaries.  All of this is a combination that just makes the Magaera not all that useful and far too expensive for what it does.

The Verdict

40/100 – A solid fail that is just too expensive for what it does. It needs more firepower or to be cheaper to really justify, and if you want a multi-threat knight, a Castigator is better and cheaper.  Thanks as always for reading, and next time, we will cover the very last Forgeworld entry for Chaos Knights, and then after that? Well, maybe it will be time to dig into the new Psychic Awakening rules for World Eaters!



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