2023 World Championships 40k Player Profile: Alex Mathison

The first ever World Championships of Warhammer are this week and we couldn’t be more excited. As part of our event coverage, we’re interviewing competitors from around the world about how they secured an invite, their plans for the event, and what they’re hoping to accomplish.

Credit: Alex Mathison

Competitor Profile

Player name: Alex Mathison
Age: 29
Country of Origin: USA
Where you won your ticket: Incheon, South Korea


Let’s start with the basics. What army are you bringing to the World Championships, and why did you choose them?

Adeptus Custodes! The perfect airline carry-on army! 

I’ve played only Custodes since 10th edition came out and I’ve been “maining” the army since June 2022 when I moved to South Korea. Custodes as a whole have an excellent suite of stratagems and datasheet abilities to punch above their weight. While the faction as a whole has taken some serious hits (as the data on Statcheck shows), I’ve personally still been enjoying them. 

Alex’s List - click to expand

Adeptus Custodes
Strike Force (2000 points)
Shield Host


Blade Champion (150 points)

  • Warlord
  • 1x Vaultswords
  • Enhancement: Ceaseless Hunter


Custodian Guard (250 points)

  • 5x Custodian Guard
  • 4x Guardian spear

      1x Praesidium Shield

      1x Sentinel blade

Prosecutors (40 points)

  • 1x Prosecutor Sister Superior
  • 3x Prosecutor


Allarus Custodians (350 points)

  •  5x Allarus Custodian
    •  5x Guardian spear

Allarus Custodians (350 points)

  •  5x Allarus Custodian
    •  5x Guardian spear

Caladius Grav-tank (215 points)

  • Twin arachnus heavy blaze cannon

Caladius Grav-tank (215 points)

  • Twin arachnus heavy blaze cannon

Custodian Wardens (275 points)

  • 5x Custodian Warden
  • 5x Guardian spear

      1x Vexilla


Eversor Assassin (75 points)

Lord Inquisitor Kyria Draxus (75 points)

Total: 1995

Credit: Alex Mathison

Run us through your list a little bit. What made you choose this list, and why do you enjoy playing it?

This list is designed to be aggressive. The Blade Champion and Wardens provides an excellent advance and charge threat, as well as a durable threat that can take a turn of punishment and establish a beachhead for the rest of the army. The Custodian Guard with Draxus are an incredible shooting threat, with easy access to rerolls this unit can pump out devastating wounds and a boatload of damage two shots. The Allarus have easy access to rerolls and are a significant melee threat against vehicles, monsters and any unit that attached a character. The Allarus are also four wounds at toughness seven, which makes the -1 damage stratagem less necessary on them then on the three wound infantry. 

The Caladius are there to keep my opponents shooting threats honest. Twin linked high AP shooting that can crack small-to-medieum sized vehicles in a single activation is nothing to sneeze at, and with easy access to cover these tanks can survive a surprising amount of punishment at range. I’ve not struggled for these tanks to get shots, and my lists almost always start with multiple.

The Prosecutors are in the list for objective play. I went back and forth between them and a unit of Henchmen, but ultimately came down on the side of a 3+ save rather than two wounds. The Eversor is probably my favorite objective play piece in the game. Advance and shoot on a model that moves 9” is so much fun, and he can dive chaff units if he needs to by selecting sustained hits in the command phase. Plus, he has deadly demise! Who doesn’t love an exploding character?

What does the list do well against? What match-ups are you hoping to avoid? 

In practice, my list has done an excellent job of bullying the midboard. My games into the Votann scoring machine have gone very well. Chaos is very heavy in my local meta (Especially CSM) and those games have been tight but very winnable. Custodes still have the capability to clear objectives with quality attacks, and the often forgotten “sticky objectives” stratagem in the Shield Host detachment helps to compensate for the lack of units. 

The obvious “what do you not want to hit” is Eldar. I’ve not been able to get many games into them, and from studying games their mobility and damage output is going to be a problem. My only GT-level win into the faction involved me playing the tightest game of 40k I have ever played on a favorable mission with favorable terrain. That’s not a sign of repeatable success. From the declared factions on the event page, I’m probably going to have to learn how effectively to fight Eldar fast. 

Fixed or Tactical?

This is very matchup dependent. This list is very capable of the “Homers + Kill X” strategy, and if given the opportunity I’ll take a set of fixed objectives over tactical. That being said the default strategy is still tactical and that is mostly for the ability to ditch secondary objectives to gain command points. Ironically the Tactical deck requires me to play more conservatively, as I need to preserve units to maintain my ability to keep my scoring capability available. 

The World Championships of Warhammer isn’t the largest event ever, but it’s certainly the first of its kind. What was your road getting to the event like? Was it something you were aiming for?

When the announcement for Worlds came out and South Korea was listed as having a qualifying event, the entire community was excited. My schedule this year let me travel to the United States and play in both GW Tacoma and the Dallas Open GT, which provided great practice for our local event here. While I only ended up going 2-1 in our Golden Ticket event, I was the highest ranked player that could afford the travel and time off to fly to Atlanta and play in the event. 

How does it feel to be going to the event? Are you nervous? Excited? How does it compare to LVO?

I’m incredibly excited for the World Championship, but more for the social side than the game. I’m very much an X-1/X-2 player, so I know I’m not going to top the event. The collection of players from across the world is much more exciting to me than the competitive event. 

I’ve flown to Australia and the United States to play in major events this year. The draw to Warhammer, for me at least, is the community. No matter where I’ve been in the world, I have met fellow nerds who are more than willing to roll dice and push models around. Having the opportunity to play with different players from across the world is exciting, and that was my main draw to the event. 

When comparing this event to LVO, I don’t think they come close. LVO is a spectacle, sure, but this event gives the feeling of celebration more so than competition. Nothing against LVO, but a massive celebration of the community and the game we play together means a lot more to me than bright lights in Vegas. I also enjoy the GW terrain format more than FLGs, but that is a separate discussion. 

How do you feel about the event’s unique country-based scoring? Does it add excitement to later rounds for you?

The country-based scoring is cool… for countries with multiple players. I’m playing under the Republic of Korea on behalf of the community here. This means I’m the only player playing for the country, so I’m the only person contributing scores. I’d have liked to see smaller countries given the opportunity to group up as coalition teams. Maybe that can be added in the future. 

How do you expect the competition to be different from other events? Is there anything you’re doing differently to prepare?

Looking solely at the tournament, I don’t see the competition being any different than any other major tournament. I’ve been getting games when I can to prepare, but nothing in the format drove me to prepare any differently than I would for any other event. 

As someone who is flying across the planet to play, I do appreciate the longer rounds on day one. The jet lag day being relaxed will be nice. No complaints there. 

How do you expect you’ll do at the event? What’s a “good event” look like for you, record-wise?

I’ll be happy to break even. This is definitely a shark tank as far as competition goes, and I’ll be the first to say I am not a top table competitor. Like I said previously, I’m here for the community not the competition. The pipe-dream is to end up as best Custodes, which should be fun to monitor throughout the event. 

How do you feel about 10th edition competitive play heading into this event? How does the meta feel to you right now?

Overall, I like where 10th edition has shaken out. The game feels healthy overall, with a couple overtuned armies (Eldar, CSM) and a couple factions that need help (Custodes, Daemons). I can see the next balance pass cleaning up the stragglers and balancing the game out. We’re never going to see perfect balance, but keeping everything between 45-55% win rates seems like an achievable goal. With the two newest codex dropping and not completely breaking the meta, I’ve got hope that we’ll see 10th continue to balance out after the Wraithknight fueled fever dream that was the edition launch. 

Thank you for reaching out!


Thanks again for taking the time to answer our questions. Good luck at the event!

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