Necron Unit Tactica: Pariahs

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Pariahs are the absolute black sheep of the codex. Often heralded as the worst Necron unit that we have. And often you will find many players stating that they simply are not worth taking in your army. I submit to you that they are incorrect and that Pariah are indeed useful, but simply notcritical to your army. Most would argue that Immortals are far superior, and in some ways, they are. However, regardless we still have Pariah and it's important to know what they're good for before just casting them aside.

Quick Reference:
 Who are the Pariahs?
 Use of Pariahs
 We'll Watch your Back

~ Who are the Pariahs? ~

Simply put, Pariahs are the combination of Necron technology and human evolution. The next wave of terror; soulless and perfect. However, how does this translate into our 40k experience? Let's look:


  • Elites and Limited 0-1; Yes this is a perk to prevent too many being taken.
  • Very good stat-line; Strength 5 is is a key element.
  • Insane weapons. Ignore all saves possible in combat; and has a Gauss blaster.
  • Resilient, with Toughness 5 and the normal 3+ armor save.
  • Small squad sizes available; perfect for hiding them for delivery.
  • Soulless;Enemies have their leadership dropped low.
  • Abomination; Psykers cannot stand Pariah and fear them above all.
  • Fearless; We're not going to have to worry about anything.
  • Do not count towards phase out (actually a perk!)
In summation, if you thought you needed a counter assault unit who was really brutal and powerful and who can swamp the leadership pool around them, then Pariahs are it. They're limited in their abilities, but powerful in those they have. We're looking at a very strong and tough elite unit, with incredible weapons that put Terminators to shame. Combine them with certain other elements in your force and you can easily make good use of Pariahs, such as combinations with Flayed Ones and the Deceiver if they were already in your list; but even better, being able to trail a Tomb Spyder, enjoying safe until ready to join the action. Remember this though, if your opponent is dealing with Pariah instead of your Necrons, they're not killing Phase Out even if they don't count towards it which makes for a nice distraction.


  • Right away you'll notice:they're expensive.
  • Lack luster initiative compared to Flayed Ones.
  • Low number of attacks.
  • They do not follow "We'll Be Back!" rules.
  • They cannot be teleported, moved around, etc. They literally walk.
  • Non-Necrons; They do not count towards phase out (though this isn't truly bad).
In summation, we have a very particular unit who seems powerful but also seems odd at the same time. They're expensive, small and elite, but don't get back up and don't teleport around. They're highly dangerous yet easily destroyed if our opponent wants them gone. They do not count towards phase out, so they technically are keeping points out of your phase out point, but this isn't the worse thing possible as they are still useful with that fact.

~ Use of Pariahs ~

Pariahs are both offensive and defensive in your army list. They are not going to spear head any shooting or assault phase, but they will be a supporter. They are offensive in that their weapon has great range even while moving and they're offensive in that in combat, they are a serious threat to your opponent. So let's look at how we can keep them alive, deliver them to where they need to be, and overall simply use them well.

~ Counter Assault ~

One of the primary functions of Pariah is counter assault. They're slow and powerful, so they will often times be behind your force. They are great at turning around and butchering space marine Terminators for example, ignoring all of their saves, and beating them down on a 3+ with their high strength before a power fist can even swing. Pariah can tango with nearly anything and deliver very scary attacks and that strength 5 really shines. While Pariah don't have a huge amount of attacks, they do get their charge bonus, so even 4 Pariah can muster some serious problems for someone when they turn, fire and then assault. To give you an idea, 4x Pariah can turn around, and assault space marine terminators, throwing out 8 attacks on the charge, and drop 2 or 3 of them right away. While that seems low, consider how many Terminators you typically see-5? We just broke them below scoring. For more effects, if you consider the Abomination and Soulless abilities with this against things like Librarians and Terminators, we can actually halt some of those psychic powers and break them at the same time. Add to the picture another supporter like a Tomb Spyder and we have dead terminators on our hands. Aside from that kind of attack, we can also use Pariah to join the brawl when we already are under assault. For example, if our Warriors are taken in assault early by something like Assault marines or Tyranid Gaunts, etc, we can waltz up with our potent strength 5, and joint he fight, laying down some serious hurt. Now add in the Soulless ability and we're looking at a much better chance to win combats, and forcing terrible moral checks to the losers if they're not fearless. If our opponents in combat are focusing on Pariahs instead of Necrons, we're looking at preserving our Phase Out models instead of losing them since Pariahs are quite considerably more dangerous. Pariahs are easily delivered safely from the trail of a Tomb Spyder for example.

~ Delivery & Combinations with Other Units ~

As mentioned, delivery of Pariahs isquite simple with Tomb Spyders in your army. They block line of sight to Pariahs and can help them to gain ground without eating anti-tank guns too early on in the game. They combine nicely with several units in this manner, because when counter assaulting we already have the Tomb Spyder and now we can add in the Pariah for a one-two punch, which can damage even the heartiest of foes. Their Souless ability is a great combination with Flayed Ones, against non-fearless armies, who are then going to be suffering the effects of a lower leadership value and possibly prolonging the life and combat abilities of the Flayed Ones if that's what we're doing. Soulless is 12 inches in every direction around the Pariahs, as a radius, which makes a huge 24 circle centered around Pariahs so it does have a great reach. Delivering this ability from the safety of Tomb Spyders, supporting other units, etc, is how you can do so without the fear of losing them too quickly. Now add to the picture that Pariahs have Gauss Blasters and are excellent at shooting. Anything that comes to a flank or the rear of your main group of Necrons is going to be met with a terrible amount of Firepower let alone a counter assault. Shooting so well and causing moral checks on things that are possibly affected by Soulless is quite a nasty moral check that may result. So our Pariahs are quite useful at shooting and assault-and safely delivered via Tomb Spyders. One last bit, since Tomb Spyders are monstrous creatures they count as 10 models for outnumbering purposes. Add to that the Soulless ability and we can easily cause huge modifiers to moral against our opponent, lowering leadership big time and causing them to flee, or to take extra wounds if they do not retreat.

~ Unit Size ~

As a scoring unit and expensive, we have the ability to keep it small or large. I would suggest you keep it small and only enjoy the presence of Pariahs in 1500 point games or higher. For starting out, I recommend the following:
Elite: 144 points.
Pariahs x 4
That's a great scoring unit that is only broken when down to one model. They output up to 8x Str5 shots at 24 inch range on the move which can drop a marine per round, or up to 4 or 5 Guardsmen, Gaunts, Guardians or FireWarriors for example.
Elite: 216 points.
Pariahs x 6
Personally I would not go over the 6 mark because after that you start to lose efficiency for the price in terms of a scoring unit and in terms of being worth while for what they do. However, in larger games such as this, 6 Pariah can cause nasty amounts of damage, such as assaulting space marine terminators and dropping 4 in a heartbeat on average. That's after shooting too. For shooting, they will literally eat squads of weaker GEQ Definition: Guard Equivalentclass infantry. They can even put two unsavable wounds on T6 monstrous creatures on the charge.

~ Missions ~

Instead of going through every mission, I will suggest that Pariahs are useful here. We have a very potent scoring unit who is not a Necron, and therefore doesn't take away from Phase Out if our opponent chooses to focus on them. So not only do we get a scoring unit, we also get a small blanket over Phase Out units, and we do it from a squad that can deal some serious damage. Pariahs are great as taking the back line of your force to watch your back and to pick up flanks for enemies looking to scope easy victory points. For us, we're looking to pick up an easy scoring unit. Combine them with Tomb Spyders and we have a lot of very tough and very scary counter assault units who are scoring and not too pricey for what they do. They will probably shine the most in Gamma & Omega level missions, where victory points are more important and again, only in larger games of 1500 points and higher. If you're using them with Tomb Spyders, you easily move around for aquistion of quarters, or simply be tough enough to hold your own in missions like Recon and to keep unwelcome visitors out of your deployment zone.

~ "We'll Watch your Back"

Really that is what Pariahs do. They watch your back. You can deploy them safely behind your Tomb Spyders, use them to support units in assault and break up moral against non-fearless armies. The Pariahs are definitely not a spear head unit, but they are offensively defensive if you can say that. They're not everyone's cup of Tea, but you can use them to great extent against assault armies who need to be beaten back after they lock down your shooting units.

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