Detachment Focus: Awakened Dynasty

In this series of articles we take a deep dive into a specific detachment for a faction, covering the faction’s rules and upgrades and talking about how to build around that faction for competitive play. In this article, we’re covering the Awakened Dynasty Detachment for the Necrons.

The Tenth Edition release of Codex: Necrons gives the faction access to five detachments, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. These can dramatically change how the army plays, as each one tends to push players to build in a different way. In this series we’re diving deep into each Detachment and talking about what its rules are and how to play it.

Detachment Overview

Catacomb Command Barge. Credit: Rockfish
Catacomb Command Barge. Credit: Rockfish

Awakened Dynasty is the Necrons “Index” detachment, returning in the Codex with a few tweaks but largely intact. Since release, it’s been largely eclipsed by the power of the Canoptek Court and Hypercrypt Legion, but despite that it has a surprising amount going for it, and with Q2 2024 Dataslate nerfs targeted firmly at those two detachments, the time may well be right for it to make some waves.

The key thing this detachment has going for it over the other two is the versatility of its tools – it can apply powerful boosts to a much broader range of units, and with access to powerful force multiplier stratagems for both the Shooting and Fight Phases it can be quite dynamic about how it does this. It also has a fairly strong suite of Enhancements that further augment this flexibility. Essentially, if you enjoy playing “toolbox” style lists that have a bit of everything in them, rather than leaning hard in any one direction, Awakened Dynasty has plenty to offer you.

Detachment Rule: Command Protocols

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

While any of your units has a Leader attached, they get +1 to their Hit rolls. Good clean fun, and even better in the Codex than the Index because Wraiths get a Leader now. This obviously means that you want most units you’re investing serious points into to have a Leader, and that you should be wary of enemy Precision options that might take them out (though you do have some potential countermeasures for that). It’s also particularly good if you can get access to re-roll 1s to hit, as when you have that jumping from 3s to 2s to hit is huge. That means there’s good value to be had from the Silent King in this detachment, as his offensive aura is even better than normal.

This is a big part of why this detachment is so flexible compared to some of the others, as compared to Canoptek Court you add three flavours Destroyers and Lychguard to the set of units you can augment, while compared to Hypercrypt you can boost multiple units, rather than just whatever you put Arisen Tyrant on. In addition, as well as providing +1 to hit, quite a few of the Stratagems in this detachment get better on units that have a Leader, and several of the Enhancements help the unit they’re in – even more value from maintaining a proper command structure.


Awakened Dynasty gets a nice suite of enhancements to play with, giving a mix of buff and herohammer play.

  • Veil of Darkness (20 points) – A time-honoured Necron classic, once per game you can pick up the bearer’s unit at the end of the opponent’s turn (as long as they’re not in Engagement Range), then set them back up outside 9” in your following Reinforcements step (including on turn 1). Very powerful, good on Lokhusts, Immortals or Warriors as the fancy takes you, and you should have this in most Awakened lists.
  • Nether Realm Casket (20 points) – Gives a unit lead by the bearer Stealth. A nice-to-have if you’ve got the points, and strong on Wraiths in a heavy shooting metagame. For Warriors you likely just take a Chronomancer.
  • Phasal Subjugator (35 points) – Provides the bearer with an Aura of +1 to Hit for non-Character units, allowing tanks and the like to get in on the hit boosts. In the Index, this saw some use in combination with Canoptek Doomstalkers, Doomsday Arks and the Silent King, usually sitting on the head of a Hexmark Destroyer to avoid getting shot. Since the Codex, Doomstalkers and Doomsdays have mostly ended up used in Canoptek Court and Hypercrypt Legion respectively, but I think there plausibly is still some mileage in this kind of build, people just haven’t tried it yet.
  • Enaegic Dermal Bond (15 points) – A powerful Herohammer tool, giving the bearer a 4+ Feel No Pain. This is particularly good on a brawler tool like a Catacomb Command Barge or a Skorpekh Lord, and I particularly like it on the latter, since you can get the Lord back up the first time they die. It’s also a somewhat plausible reason to take a vanilla Overlord, since stacked on top of -1D you get something that does an impression of C’tan level toughness, but because they’re much slower and less impactful than the other two options I’m less keen on it.

Generally, the Veil of Darkness and the Dermal Bond are some of the active draws to this detachment, so if you can’t find something good to do with them, it’s worth stepping back and considering whether you’re using the right units.


The Awakened Dynasty has a great Stratagem suite, and happily most of them are 1CP, so you can use them fairly liberally. In addition, both your key force multiplier options are Battle Tactics, so cunning use of an Overlord can add particular value here.

  • Protocol of the Eternal Revenant (Epic Deed, 1CP) – You can use this in any Phase when one of your INFANTRY Characters is destroyed, and it allows them to get up at the end of the Phase on half wounds, as close as possible to where they died that’s outside Engagement Range. This whips, and is (fittingly for Necrons) one of the best versions of this effect in the whole game – no 2+ roll required, and if you die in the opponent’s Fight Phase then you get the benefit of Reanimation Protocols straight away to prepare you for a fight. It’s especially good with Illuminor Szeras or a Skorpekh Lord with the Enaegic Bond, as they’re complete nightmares to kill the first time. Just remember to save a CP for it, and watch out for stuff that can Battle-shock you. I have had Szeras die when Shocked while I had a CP floating once, and let me tell you it did not feel good.
  • Protocol of the Undying Legions (Strategic Ploy, 1 CP) – Reactive reanimation – after the opponent Shoots (in their Shooting Phase, so not after Overwatch) or Fights one of your units, if at least one model was destroyed you can immediately activate their Reanimation Protocols, and get +1 to the roll if you have a Leader. This was widely loathed in the Index because it was (admittedly) kind of bullshit on Lychguard or Warriors as they were. Now it’s merely fine, but very much still worth using in plenty of situations (particularly to keep yourself above Battle-shock threshold), and it’s a strong incentive to still bring a Reanimator to sit with your Warriors or Immortals.
  • Protocol of the Hungry Void (Battle Tactic, 1 CP) – Used in the Fight Phase, this gives a unit +1S, and also +1AP if they have a Leader (which doesn’t stack with any other AP boosts). This is great on Wraiths, as S7 AP-2 is a whole world of difference from S6 AP-1 in terms of what it threatens, and is sometimes worth throwing on Immortals in a pinch for a bit of extra lift.
  • Protocol of the Sudden Storm (Strategic Ploy, 1 CP) – This is used in your Movement Phase, giving one of your units Assault on their guns, and also providing an Advance re-roll if the unit has a Leader. While handy for positioning Lokhusts and good for getting some extra shots in range from Warriors in a pinch, one of the most common uses of this is actually just to provide reach for scoring an “Action” secondary, particularly in early turns.
  • Protocol of the Conquering Tyrant (Battle Tactic, 1 CP) – Your unit gets re-roll 1s to hit against a unit within half range, or alternatively full re-rolls to hit at full range if a Character is leading the unit. That second bit was a slightly surprising FAQ from GW, but it makes this very good on tesla Immortals with a Plasmancer and Translocation Shroud Overlord, as it gives you a big threat range and the ability to full fish for Sustained, which does even more here than usual thanks to hitting on 2s. You can also do something similar with enmitic Heavy Lokhusts and a Lord. Or – both, because it’s a Battle Tactic, so eligible for free re-use off an Overlord!
  • Protocol of the Vengeful Stars (Strategic Ploy, 2 CP) – The one Stratagem that isn’t frequently used here, this triggers when the enemy shoots and destroys one of your units in the Shooting Phase, and allows a CHARACTER unit within 6” to shoot back at the culprit. There are plausible situations where this could be good, they’re just rare enough (and other Stratagems appealing enough) that you rarely want to be actively saving the 2CP to use it. In general, be more proactive about doing so if you’re running the Silent King or Lokhusts with a Lord – the former in particular has a very real shot at one-rounding an unsuspecting tank if he’s got his re-roll aura on.

Playing This Detachment

Unlike some of the other Necron detachments which give you a very clear steer on what units you should be using, Awakened Dynasty is fairly wide open in terms of what you can do. I’ve found that you generally want to start with a couple of solid, durable units (e.g. big Warrior units with a Chronomancer and Szeras, Wraiths) then build in a suite of utility damage dealers around that. This is also one of the better places to still bring a Canoptek Reanimator along, as the combo with Protocol of the Undying Legions is still very good, just harder to set up position-wise.

Lokhust Heavy Destroyers. Credit: Rockfish
Lokhust Heavy Destroyers. Credit: Rockfish

Your damage dealers can be almost anything, but there are certainly some things this detachment does particularly well. Tesla Immortals are great because of access to Protocol of the Conquering Tyrant, giving you some very strong anti-horde, especially if you bring Szeras too – which you want to anyway in this detachment because of how annoying standing him back up is. Lokhust Destroyers work better here than most places – their footprint is still upsettingly huge, but access to the Veil of Darkness and Protocol of the Sudden Storm gives you some options to get them around the board, and +1 to hit means that they’re functionally on full re-rolls if they shoot the closest target. Alternatively, Lokhust Heavy Destroyers with enmitic guns love both the Veil of Darkness and access to fishing for full re-rolls, and in an Ork-heavy metagame they bring a lot to the table. Leaning heavily on AP-1 shooting between them and the Immortal/Szeras setup also makes Triarch Stalkers look pretty interesting here, as throwing out No Cover can help with chipping down units with a 2+ Save.

Skorpekh Lord. Credit: Wings

What else? Access to Protocol of the Hungry Void is handy for boosting up Wraiths, but also broadens the impact of Lychguard and Skorpekh Destroyers, both of which are decent here. The latter as an MSU with a Lord and the Enaegic Dermal Bond is an especially strong package, sufficient that it’s an active draw to the detachment. For 185pts, you get a unit that will slam into something hard once, then has a Leader that is ultra hard to see off for good, and can reliably cause some mischief till dealt with. Alternatively, a Catacomb Command Barge is a potent long brawler with the Bond, but doesn’t have quite as much impact as the Skorpekh most of the time, so usually stays on the bench.

If you want to go heavier, the Silent King and C’tan are both strong here as well. The former enjoys providing re-rolls to stuff that’s also at +1 to hit, providing great reliability, while the latter are just generically excellent, even at higher points. You can also take the Phasal Subjugator and some shooty hulls if you like, but you’re probably better off just going with Hypercrypt if that’s the core of your plan. There have been some successes with Monoliths with this too, but mostly pre-Dataslate, so jury is out on whether that’s still worth doing.

Finally, add some utility units – Necrons have plenty of these, and you want some to score and screen. Flayed Ones are particularly nice here, as you don’t otherwise have much that pushes out positionally.

Zachary Jeppesen’s Awakened Dynasty – 4th Place – Giga-Bytes May GT


You Can’t Plan What I’m Taking If Even I Don’t Know What I’m Taking (2000 points)


Strike Force (2000 points)

Awakened Dynasty


Illuminor Szeras (175 points)
1x Eldritch Lance
1x Impaling legs

Lokhust Lord (80 points)
1x Staff of light

Overlord with Translocation Shroud (85 points)
1x Overlord’s blade
1x Resurrection Orb

Plasmancer (65 points)
1x Plasmic lance

Plasmancer (65 points)
1x Plasmic lance

Royal Warden (60 points)
1x Close combat weapon
1x Relic gauss blaster
Enhancement: Veil of Darkness

Skorpekh Lord (95 points)
1x Enmitic annihilator
1x Flensing claw
1x Hyperphase harvester
Enhancement: Enaegic Dermal Bond

Skorpekh Lord (80 points)
1x Enmitic annihilator
1x Flensing claw
1x Hyperphase harvester

Technomancer (105 points)
1x Staff of light
Enhancement: Nether-realm Casket


Immortals (150 points)
10x Immortal
10x Close combat weapon
10x Tesla carbine

Necron Warriors (200 points)
20x Necron Warrior
20x Close combat weapon
20x Gauss reaper


Canoptek Reanimator (75 points)
2x Atomiser beam
1x Reanimator’s claws

Canoptek Reanimator (75 points)
2x Atomiser beam
1x Reanimator’s claws

Canoptek Wraiths (220 points)
6x Canoptek Wraith
6x Particle caster
6x Vicious claws

Canoptek Wraiths (110 points)
3x Canoptek Wraith
3x Particle caster
3x Vicious claws

Lokhust Destroyers (180 points)
6x Lokhust Destroyer
6x Close combat weapon
6x Gauss cannon

Skorpekh Destroyers (90 points)
3x Skorpekh Destroyer
1x Plasmacyte
3x Skorpekh hyperphase weapons

Skorpekh Destroyers (90 points)
3x Skorpekh Destroyer
1x Plasmacyte
3x Skorpekh hyperphase weapons

Exported with App Version: v1.14.0 (42), Data Version: v379

This build really shows off the breadth of what you can put to effective work in this detachment. Lokhusts, Skorpekh, Reanimators and a solid Infantry core – they’re all here! This is pretty similar to what I’ve been testing in Awakened, skewing a little harder towards damage output between the Lokhusts and a second Skorpekh unit, plus going for a Plasmancer instead of a Chronomancer in the big Warrior unit for extra threat. Don’t forget on those that once they have Criticals on 5s to hit you can use Protocol of the Conquering Tyrant to fish for critical hits as a sort of pseudo-Wound re-roll, which can put tremendous chip damage into almost anything, especially if Szeras is around.

In a Thousand Sons-heavy environment, I also fully endorse sticking the Veil on the Warriors instead of Destroyers – you need it so you can get some value from them before they inevitably get Twist of Fated out of the game. Szeras and Reanimators also set this up surprisingly well into Orks – it’s quite flexible in rolling with their punches, and hitting back hard with premium anti-horde, adaptable to clear out mega armour if needed. I like this a lot, and I think people will keep tinkering in this space!

Final Thoughts

Awakened Dynasty is a tonne of fun to play if you enjoy toolbox lists, and in the current metagame has some real promise. I’m planning on taking them to my next event, and if you haven’t already given them a go, I highly recommend you trying it out as well!

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