Warhammer 40K: Laying Waste With the Chaos Knight Styrix
Today, take a look at the Chaos Knight Styrix that can do a bit of shooting, a bit of smashing, and maybe, a fun amount of mortal wounds too!
Danny from TFG Radio here
- Graviton Crusher – Range 18” Heavy d3 S6 AP-3 D2. Against targets with an armor save of 3+ or better, this weapon becomes Damage 3.
- Volkite Chierovile – Range 45” Heavy 5 S8 AP-3 Dd6. For each unmodified wound roll of 6, deals 2 mortal wound in addition to normal damage.
- Hekaton Siege Claw – When attacking, choose a profile:
- Crush: S16 AP-4 D6 melee weapon. -1 to hit, and against VEHICLES or MONSTER units, add 2 to the damage.
- Smash: S8 AP-2 D3 melee weapon. Make 3 hit rolls per attack.
- 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
- Twin Rad Cleanser – Range 12” 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
- 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 receive the benefit of cover to its saving throws unless at least half of the model is obscured.
Using the Styrix
The Styrix is another multi-threat model that combines some ranged kill with a bit of the old up-close ultra violence. Like the Magaera, the Styrix ignores cover, which matters a bit for the Styrix as all of its main guns are AP-3, and ignoring cover means that hard units like Bullgryn or Centurions can’t rely on cover to make their save insurmountable. Even with the Rad-Cleanser, ignoring cover ensures that your opponent cannot easily get their infantry to be more resilient than they should be. The Volkite is solid with good, but variable, damage and AP-3, and S8 is hitting that sweet spot to wound most infantry on 2s or wounding the hardest targets on 4s. The Graviton is a bit weaker as only d3 shots is pretty anemic and at S6, it is not wounding all that well either. The Rad Cleanser is also a nice way to do some damage to horde units before charging in and getting those stomps in. That said, forcing at flat Damage 3, the Rad Cleanser can do work against elite enemies as each failed save is a dead Blade Guard, Aggressor, and the like.
In terms of melee, you get that standard option of Reaper Chainsword or Claw, and generally, Claw is the way to go as it includes the Twin Rad-Cleanser. This really increases the overall shot output of the model, and it also gives a bit of overwatch protection as 2d6 auto hitting D3 attacks can go very, very bad for people. While by the math it is not a guarantee, the implication is there. You can also Dreadblade for Path to Glory to make the claw much more accurate against the things that you need to hit with the big damage. Just like the Magaera, the Claw really is ideal as there are ways to get around the -1 to hit.
Infernal – In terms of Ambition, much like always, Infernal is about looking for big hits and gambling on it while Iconoclast is just a dependable boost to melee capabilities. Infernal is about boosting up the Volkite to get the most mileage out of its 5 shots, and S9 AP-3 Dd6+1 can yield some tasty rewards. The extra mortals on a 6 are just some extra spice, but the real power is trying to get those d6+1 wounds through. You can also boost for speed when you need it for that surprise melee threat, and even getting to T9 can help keep the Styrix alive longer as with 45” range, it can generally stay out of the scrum. Yes, the Graviton is only range 18”, but it is definitely not the weapon you want to leverage.
Iconoclast – gets you more consistent results in melee with +1 attack and AP, which is never bad, and like always, the access to Vows. Even with the double Rad-Cleanser, Vow of Carnage isn’t totally likely to do work here as you don’t put out enough shots to really leverage it, but Vow of Beastslayer can make those 5 Volkite shots just that much sweeter by getting the reroll wounds of 1 on certain targets. Vow of Dominance is also clutch if you need to ensure that the Styrix stays alive as long as possible. That said, the real threat of the Styrix is that Volkite, so often, Infernal is a better choice unless you are building primarily towards melee.
Since the Claw isn’t Titanic Feet, there are plenty of custom Houses that increase its usefulness, and at a flat D3 damage, you don’t have to worry about rolling a bunch of 1s and 2s and end up only killing a few multi-wound models. Slayer of Kings is great for the flat +1 to hit against VEHICLES/MONSTERS, something the Styrix wants to do anyway, making the Claw far less of a liability on the big swings. Pair this with Frenzied Attackers and now you get a bonus hit on a 6 with the Claw, either Smashing or Crushing. You can make this an Iconoclast House for the extra attack and AP, making the Styrix an incredible blender against elite infantry or even rock Infernal to have the ability to boost the Volkite and still be able to dish out so decent melee damage. House Lucaris is a great choice as well for a flat +1 to hit in the first round of combat, again, making the Claw more accurate on the big swings but also making the Smash attacks just insanely accurate. The Warlord trait is sweet too for Always Fight First, and if you give the Styrix Quicksilver Throne and another hybrid platform the WL trait (like a Acheron or Atrapos), you have two rock solid Knights that nobody wants to charge, ever.
In terms of Dreadblading and relics, it depends on the matchup. Unless the Styrix is your only Knight, there is no real reason to not Dreadblade as Path to Glory is so useful for helping the Claw land against other Knights as well as helping the Smash Claw land against characters. Daemonic Vigor isn’t bad either as the movement isn’t terrible, +1 WS is workable, and if you get +1 BS, all the better. If not Dreadblading and the Styrix is your only heavy knight, then either the Ambition specific relics are never bad as both add a lot of value. As the Styrix has a 5++, it is a bit tankier in melee, so stacking Nurgle’s Plate and Galvanized Hull isn’t a bad answer to hordes. Really, there isn’t any super obscure tek to bring out here, and a lot of the other relics are better suited to other Knights.
That brings us to the downside here, and there are several. The Styrix is just lackluster considering its price point. At 475 points, creeping up on better options like custom Despoilers, you just aren’t getting that much value. That is a lot of points for what boils down to 5 decent shots and d3 Ok shots and some strong melee against the right matchups. The Graviton Crusher is just really underpowered for what it does as d3 shots at S6 and maybe D3 is good against say Aggressors, but that’s within 18” and with only at most 3 shots, that’s nowhere near enough output. The Volkite can do big damage, but with only 5 shots, it is unlikely to actually do much at range.
To use some math, a Styrix with no buffs only does 4.421 to an Iron Hands Repulsor chassis, and even with full Infernal AND Trail of Destruction, that is 9.753 through. That is not a lot of heat, and yes, if you throw on the Graviton, you get a bit more work in, but all of its weapons combined don’t really do enough to justify 475 points, and you have to be within 12” to turn on the full rate of fire. If the Graviton had more shots or at least the shots were uber-strong, then maybe there is a place for the Styrix, but when you combine the above with the inherent weakness to a Knight, you have a model that looks cool, but really, for 475 points, you can get so much more. If you want a ranged platform, there are definitely better options. If you want a melee platform, there are definitely better options. Even if you want a hybrid platform, there are again better options. The Styrix just doesn’t shine enough in one area to really be worth it.
50/100 – Not so awesome, but better in 9th than 8th at least. The Styrix is a cool model, and if you want to play Knights but not totally alienate your more casual play group, this isn’t a bad choice, but if you want to win games, spend those 475 points on something else.
And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!